Anchor River Inn to get fresh start

New owners hope to begin operating later this year

The long-empty Anchor River Inn has been seeing some activity recently. If all goes according to the new owners’ plan, it may be regularly occupied in the not-so-distant future.

Rob Yundt and Cameron Johnson, longtime friends and experienced real estate developers from the Matanuska-Susitna area, purchased the inn property in 2022, including the motel and convenience store across the street on the Old Sterling Highway. The motel interior was remodeled last year, Yundt told Homer News in a June 2 interview. Currently being remodeled are the main hotel building and the old restaurant and bar.

“We’re hoping to have these [rooms] done and occupied by about early August,” Yundt said. “And then hopefully have the bar open not long behind that.”

Their intent with the remodel, Yundt said, is to bring the original structure and business back to life, and to honor the Anchor River Inn’s history.

“We found a lot of amazing pictures in [the inn], going back 30, 40-plus years,” Yundt told Homer News. “I’m going to keep all those and hang them back up in a part of the restaurant when we’re done cleaning it up.”

Part of the inn’s fresh start will include rebranding, with a new name and a new logo. According to Yundt, the restaurant and bar will be known as The Angry Salmon. But that doesn’t mean the inn’s roots will be left behind.

“We are going to dedicate an entire part of the existing structure to all those old pictures and the Anchor River Inn logo on the front. I’ll take that down and bring it inside, really clean it up and put it on the wall,” Yundt said. “There’s a lot of locals that stop by every day that are just really happy we’re putting some elbow grease into [the inn]. I want to be able to give them the connection to … how it used to be, so we’re gonna save all that.”

Both Yundt and Johnson are Alaska born and raised, having grown up in the MatSu area. Yundt also has a personal history connected to the Kenai Peninsula.

“I just love the peninsula; I’ve always had connections down there after my dad moved there after I graduated high school, and when I’m down there now I help coach wrestling,” he said.

When Johnson called him last year to say that the Anchor River Inn was available for purchase, Yundt agreed readily.

The convenience store is currently managed by a property management firm out of Homer. Yundt also told Homer News that they already have a husband-and-wife team from Homer lined up to manage the restaurant and hotel side of things. When asked if they would make hiring locals a priority, Yundt replied affirmatively.

“That’s all I want to do anyways, is hire Alaskans and hire in local communities,” he said.