Another favorite gathering place—and the only restaurant in town opened year round back then—was Al’s Eskimo Cafe. There was a place called Brower’s Cafe, but it only opened in the summer for the tourists. It was tradition to go there at least once a season and eat a bowl of reindeer soup while listening to the tour guides’ latest spiels about Barrow.
Al’s Eskimo Cafe, owned and operated by Al Hopson Sr., was the really special place. It was the original highway greasy spoon translated into tundra ambiance. I wouldn’t have been surprised if, after downing one of those wonderful