A friend called this weekend and said she'd seen a listing in the real estate section of the newspaper for Bernie's Bungalow Lounge. What's that about, she asked?
I hadn't the foggiest idea, so -- with a throat-clutch of anxiety at the thought of one of my favorite watering holes possibly going kaput -- I e-mailed Bernie Souphanavong himself to get the scoop.
Yes, the esteemed SoNo Bungalow is indeed on the market. Souphanavong is looking to sell -- but not close -- his famed bar.
"Basically I've been running a bar/restaurant for 16 years, and so much has changed with this business," Souphanavong said via e-mail. "Bernie's has grown to where it's no longer realistic to run this by myself."
"Besides," he added. "It's time for a break to sunny California."
Bernie's will go for a pretty steep price -- "When it comes to money, what's expensive for one is not for someone else," Souphanavong said -- and he hopes to keep me (and all of you, via cyberspace) in the loop if someone swoops in anytime soon.
For now, things will continue much as usual, but keep an eye out for the elusive Bernie and his Panama hat. We can always hope he'll change his mind. That, or Justin Timberlake will decide he wants some Anchorage property.