Tacos of the Tundra

| March 20, 2002

Tacos of the Tundra, Deborah J. Myers, Moxie Magazine
Twenty years ago, former engineer Fran Tate decided to open a Mexican restaurant in the most unlikely of places: Barrow, Alaska - a remote town north of the Arctic Circle. Tate applied for loans from 11 Anchorage banks, all of which turned her down, writes Deborah J. Myers in Moxie Magazine, a publication for smart, gutsy women. Rather than building a new space, Tate renovated an abandoned house for her business. And just before she was about to open, the money ran out. Desperate to open the restaurant, she wrote more than $11,000 in bad checks. Tate avoided landing in jail by convincing the town's chief of police to stall her disgruntled vendors based on her word. Then, one week after Pepe's North of the Border opened, it won over a town full of skeptics, and Tate earned enough cash to cover her bad checks. "Pretty remarkable for a restaurant that seated only 34 people," Myers writes.
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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