Studio 68: Good vibes, beer, food near campus

Studio 68 is a relatively new establishment, which has brought live music, a mix of flavors and a laid-back atmosphere to Anchorage residents young and old. Studio 68 dishes out delicacies from calamari fritters to blueberry scones and also provides free wireless Internet access, 48 different kinds of alcohol and discounted espresso for UAA students.

The restaurant, located on the corner of Lake Otis Boulevard and 68th Avenue, was established in February by the owners of Europa Bakery and Cafe. Musicians themselves, the owners set up to record live music by the several bands that routinely play there.

With its earthy vibes, dimmed lighting and blackened center stage, one is inclined to expect beatniks beating on bongos instead of the families and easy-listening or jazz enthusiasts that make up Studio 68’s current clientele.

“There are definitely regulars,” said John Anderson, a 40-year-old guitarist who has played at Studio 68 since April. “People keep coming back… This is my home base. I always see the same people come back to hear me play.”

Anderson’s easy-listening guitar isn’t the only style of music you can hear at Studio 68. Live entertainment is scheduled almost every night of the week, with an open mic available on Tuesdays for wannabe artists. Though weekend nights are dedicated to jazz lovers, there is a little bit of everything for everyone, Anderson said.

The laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant make Studio 68 unique.

“There are very few places where people can have live entertainment and still feel comfortable bringing their kids,” said Jena Weinberger, manager and night server at the restaurant and a UAA alumna.

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Studio 68 carries bakery goods from the Europa Bakery and Cafe.

“That’s as far as our affiliation with them goes,” Weinberger said. “We have a completely different menu.”

Currently, the restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner menus.

“We serve brunch until 3:30 p.m. daily,” said Trista Piaskowski, Studio 68’s barista, “and we offer the brunch menu all day Saturday.”

Although the restaurant does not currently have a breakfast menu, they’re aiming to serve breakfast on a regular basis in about two weeks, Weinberger said.

In addition to hot sandwiches at lunch, half-size meals are available for the weight-conscious or those wanting a small lunch. For dinner, there are a vast variety of dishes to choose from. The most popular dish is the chicken Gorgonzola, Weinberger said.

Samuel Gutenberg, aspiring writer and cashier at Waldenbooks, said the food is always great.

“[Studio 68] always has a really friendly feel. The servers are really nice… It’s not always happening but it’s a good place to think and relax,” Gutenberg said.

Studio 68 would like to attract more college students with its wireless connection and liquor license, Weinberger said. Because Studio 68 is near campus, it would be a great place for students “to kick back and have some coffee or a beer.”

Studio 68 is open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.