For years, Alaska might as well have been on another planet when it came to national restaurant chains.
It was too costly and the logistics too daunting to run a restaurant in the state. Now, restaurants are rushing in.
Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings are recent arrivals. Next year, Anchorage will get its first Texas Roadhouse, a Hard Rock Cafe and Krispy Kreme doughnut shops.
Bill Popp, president of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp, says one reason for the influx is the relative health of the local economy and people having money to spend.
Anchorage has the second highest median income in the U.S. at just over $72,000.