A Warm Welcome, Hearth

Summer Jarvis-Mensoff

Anchorage welcomes a modern home-style pizzeria to Northern Lights and Spenard, called Hearth Artisan Pizza. Hearth opened January 2016 from the same owner of The Middle Way Cafe, a rustic cafe next door to the new pizzeria.

The two restaurants have a shared space between them. Customers now have the option to sit on the cafe side or within the Hearth. With a few unique features, like Hearth’s two door options, many choose the Hearth. One door is located at the front of the building with most of the other business’ in the strip mall, but the Hearth also has an opening on the back of the restaurant. During this summer Hearth owner plans renovate in the back and add patio seating and an outdoor fireplace.

Both restaurants have the same owner, which would lead most to think that they food would be somewhat similar but it’s far from alike. The Middle Way features breakfast and lunch options, whereas Hearth is dinner featuring beer and wine. Using a wood stove is also a uniquely different feature to the hearth. 22-year-old waitress at the Hearth Chelsey Hern says, “Our main goal is to keep everything local and healthy yes pizza can be healthy.” Many of the vegetables they use are locally grown and they plan on having seasonal dishes to change things up with the seasons. Hern says she, “Looks forward to all the potential the restaurant has, and so far it looks like we’re doing good. I’m excited.”

Hearth features many unique and popular pizza toppings. When newbie Alexis Roderick entered the restaurant she said she was, “A little scared to try new things, maybe some day I’ll order the sweet potato pie pizza, just not yet.” Hearth is now one of three restaurants in the Spenard area that now carry pizza on their menu, which could make a little competition between restaurants but Roderick says, “They’re unique and their pizza is really good, that’s hard to beat.”

Most would agree. Justin Green a local to the area and a long time and close friend of the owner says that they had been envisioning adding on again, Middle Way was renovated in 2008 to open up their space, and creating a new menu for the area. “I believe this was a great idea, even though there are other similar menus everyone has their own twist and Hearth really has a good one,” said Green. Many satisfied customers come in and out of Hearth each day. Green says, “It feels like everyone who goes to Middle Way drifts over here, it’s a nice environment. Everyone is happy.”