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Seized bar to reopen as 'Louie's Douglas Inn'

New owners shooting to reopen 'local watering hole' in 2014, getting back to its roots

Posted: August 22, 2013 - 1:48pm  |  Updated: August 23, 2013 - 12:10am
The Douglas Inn changes hands, to be cared for by long time residents.   Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File Photo
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File Photo
The Douglas Inn changes hands, to be cared for by long time residents.

Abigail Trucano grew up in Douglas knowing Louie’s Douglas Inn well — her parents frequented the local business. She said her family was “bummed out” when the IRS shut the bar’s doors this year. Former owner Patrick M. Peterson lost the business over years of unpaid taxes.

But, as of Wednesday’s auction, Trucano is the new owner of the establishment, currently named P P’s Douglas Inn. Trucano’s parents, North Pacific Erectors, Inc. owners James and Arbe Williams, won the auction at the IRS’ minimum bid with no competition, Trucano said. However, she’ll be the one operating the bar once the business is back in action.

She plans to rename the bar “Louie’s Douglas Inn.”

“We actually called (former owner) Louie Pusich and asked if that would be okay,” Trucano said. “Even if we renamed it something else, people would still call it that.”

Trucano, who has been bartending at the Red Dog for six years, is no pup in the restaurant business, she said. She’s been working in restaurants and bars since she was 13, and said she loves the people that come with the job.

“I like running around and being on my feet, but most of all I like interacting and meeting all the different personalities,” she said.

She said the soonest she’d start working to reopen the bar would be February. In July, former Triple F Bar & Grill owner David Sanden transferred his liquor license to Trucano and her parents, and she’s waiting for the paperwork to go through, she said.

“There are lots of hurdles to jump but it will be worth it in the end,” she said.

The liquor license became available before the property was up for auction, she said. But she decided to move on the license just in case, keeping her eye on Louie’s.

“We kept our fingers crossed that something would happen with the building,” Trucano said. “It’s a local bar and we wanted to keep the tradition alive.”

This is Trucano’s first time owning a bar, she said. Right now, she works at North Pacific Erectors in addition to bartending, but eventually Louie’s will become her full-time job.

She said she’s hoping to get the bar back to its roots.

“We’re not looking to do anything fancy,” she said. “We just want to get that local watering hole open again.”

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com.

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