There is a flurry of activity underway at two different commercial sites along the Johansen Expressway in Fairbanks. Each of the projects is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Diversified Restaurant Group will soon open the doors to Arby’s second Fairbanks location. Located off the Johansen Expressway in Fairbanks’ East shopping district, the newest Arby’s location will occupy the old Chili’s parking lot on Merhar Avenue.

“We’re excited to continue to grow in Fairbanks,” said Jason Dunn, Diversified Restaurant Group’s senior director of operations. “We feel as though the community in Fairbanks could support two restaurants, and it makes a lot of sense for us too.”

Arby’s Johansen Expressway location is currently under construction and is scheduled to open at the end of December. The new location will boast some of the brands’ new restaurant design features and serve the chain’s famous roast beef sandwiches, crispy chicken meals and a variety of sides, like shakes and crinkle fries.

Diversified Restaurant Group, whose mission is to “provide ... outstanding food, service and support to the communities in which we serve,” owns six other franchised Arby’s locations in Alaska and is actively looking to expand to North Pole, Dunn said. The location expects to hire between 50-65 new team members this fall.

Less than three miles west, a new Holiday gas station is in the final stages of construction. The newest Holiday Stationstore is located on the corner of Peger and Phillips Field Road and is anticipated to open before the close of the year.

The Peger Road location will feature a selection of products and food offerings. The project includes a fuel canopy with 12 pumps serving gasoline and diesel fuel. Holiday, whose mission “is to make your life a little bit easier every day,” operates more than 400 corporate and franchise gasoline and convenience stores in 12 states. The store will be the city’s fourth Holiday gas station location.

Early next year, a California-based pizza chain will expand into Alaska with its first restaurant opening in Fairbanks, the company announced earlier this summer.

Blaze Pizza, the latest entry into the market for fast-casual dining, is expected to open the doors to its Fairbanks location in 2022. The eatery will offer a wide variety of pizza options as well as simple salads and deserts. The chain allows guests to customize their dining experience with options to create their own pie or alter the brand’s signature pizzas. Blaze Pizza will also offer gluten-free, keto and vegan options.

The company has partnered with two experienced Fairbanks franchise owners, Greg and Catharine Persinger, for their Alaska expansion. The husband and wife duo already own Firehouse Subs and Cold Stone Creamery, two successful franchises in the city.

Contact Liv Clifford at 459-7582, or follow her at


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