Pepe's Owner Talks About the Early Days (Fran Tate)

Fran Tate, the owner of Pepes North of the Border Mexican restaurant (it burned down in 2013 in Barrow (now Utqiaġvik), Alaska) describes the unique design and concept of her restaurant. The dining room is themed after bulls, with paintings by Ricardo Vasquez.. Fran reflects on the past, recalling the transformation of the establishment from a rowdy cocktail lounge to a restaurant. She shares stories about her journey as a restaurateur, the challenges faced, and the evolution of the dining experience. Over time, the restaurant gained popularity, offering both Mexican and American cuisine. Fran reminisces about the changes she made and the warm reception from the community, especially the senior citizens who now enjoy complimentary pie and coffee. The restaurant has become more refined, she quips, with patrons now respecting the “wait to be seated” sign.