Open for business in Juneau

Carol Rotola, right, helps Libby Bakalar find a birthday present at Juneau's Imagination Station on Friday. Rotola's daughter, Alicia Smith, has been running the shop year around on South Franklin Street for nine years.

Juneau’s downtown retail shops generally thrive on the influx of summer visitors. It is no doubt that most Juneau business owners already know how their annual bottom line will read as the last cruise ship departs in early fall. However, as winter rolls around, the relationship between year-round shops and local shoppers is a lot more than proximity-based loyalist driven activity — it is vital.


Rather than closing up shop and heading south with the last days of September, many of Juneau’s businesses stay open through the darker and damper days of winter. A few of those businesses are listed below and by no means is this list complete. It doesn’t include the dozens of shops in Lemon Creek, on Douglas Island, near the airport, Mendenhall Valley or Auke Bay. It doesn’t even include Juneau’s many year-round restaurants, coffee shops, hair salons, movie theaters, yoga studios, massage businesses and other service providers. This is just a taste of Juneau’s more than 300 businesses.


Following her first summer in business, Sara Chatfield, owner of Chiton Jewelry Gallery, plans to open her small shop one or two days a week through the winter. Gold- and silversmith Michael Hunter plans to open Saturdays. Chatfield said the shop would also be open around First Friday’s and the upcoming Gallery Walk.

The shop features all local artists. Metal work, ivory, glass and hand-worked flint tools. A popular item is Chatfield’s glass pomegranate seed art.

The shop is staying open because “Michael volunteered,” Chatfield said. The storeowner spent the summer in the shop catering to visiting shoppers. “I have to go make stuff,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield’s shop is located next to Ben Franklin’s and near Hearthside Books, Annie Kaill’s gallery and the Jewel Box, which are also open all winter. Chatfield also plans to have her glass jewelry and Brian Schuch’s hand-made flint tools at the Juneau Public Market after Thanksgiving. For more information visit or call (541) 579-0871.


Imagination Station is considered by shop-owners nearby as an anchor for shoppers during the holiday season. Owners Alicia and Roger Smith typically stock the store with special toys for the holidays and use the front window for a holiday display. The shop features “Alaskan toys, games and dolls as well as fantastic playthings from around the world,” according to the store’s website.

The Imagination Station is located at 175 South Franklin Street. For more information visit, call 586-8697 or email


The Alaska Fudge Company is open all winter. It typically starts its holiday special offerings around Thanksgiving’s shopping days. The shop is located at 195 South Franklin Street. For more information visit or call 586-1478.


Midnight Sun Gifts, has been open since 1997, and is owned by Marie Phillips, Richard Porria and Ronald Phillips. The gift shop sells Alaskan gifts and collectibles from its location in the Historic Germania Building at 158 South Franklin Street. The shop is having a storewide sale and expects new jewelry and gift items such as silk scarves to arrive in time for the holidays, Wendell Thorne Midnight Sun Gifts salesperson said. For more information call 463-1227.

Sitka artists Christie Jones and Colin Herforth own Fairweather Gallery and Gifts. The clothing, gift and art store is open all year, six days a week at 207 South Franklin. It features Alaska made gifts and collectibles. For more information visit or call 789-1404.

Trove gift store on South Franklin is open for its second winter. Part of Timberwolf Ventures, Inc., Trove is owned primarily by Michael Tripp and also by Audrey Acord and Daren and Tamala Booton. It is located at 406 South Franklin Street. For more information visit, call 586-9530 or email

Within the Senate Building at 175 South Franklin Street winter shoppers can find the Juneau Artists Gallery along with the Bear’s Lair gifts, Changing Tides Quilt and Fabric shop and the clothing store Boheme.

Juneau Artist Gallery is owned by Gordon Harrison, Jim Baumgartner, Mark Kelley and Mark Vinsel. The store is a cooperative gallery featuring local artists. For more information visit or call 586-9891.

Bear’s Lair offers gifts handcrafted in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest along with “whimsical” bear rugs and other home decorations. For more information visit or call 586-5059.

Changing Tides Quilt and Fabric shop caters to the needs of fabric lovers with gifts, materials and tools. For more information visit, call 523-6084 or email


“I describe this sometimes to people as Nordstrom in one room,” Kaki Shields, salesperson at Boheme, said of the shop. “It really is from quite nice things … going through women’s and contemporary and then there is a whole grouping in the back here which is really junior.” High school girls often buy their jeans from the junior section, Shields said. Boheme is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week during the winter. Though not ready to announce specifics, Boheme’s owner Ann House typically hosts a winter event around the holidays. For more information visit or call 586-2050.

Shoefly is also open year round and is located near the base of Seward Street. The store “caters to women who love shoes beyond reason,” according to the shop’s website. For more information visit or call 586-1055.


Tattoo artist Steve Geanoulis and body piercer Erin McGinnis opened Pair-A-Dice Tattoo and Body Piercing, LLC in 1998. It has remained opened through the winter since its inception and open in its current location for the past 12 years. McGinnis said she doesn’t notice much difference between summer and winter business. However, she said winter comes with more big dipper and forget-me-not tattoos as locals ink their local icons. Pair-A-Dice does not have holiday specials and it closes on “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving. Gift givers can still find an open chair if they want to book a piecing or tattoo for a loved one over the holiday season. Pair-A-Dice is located at 116 Seward Street. Find out more at or call 463-3704.

For more information visit the Downtown Business Association at, the Juneau Chamber of Commerce at and shopping page at

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at


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