“Home cooking” in Peters Creek

New eatery focuses on steaks, burgers


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Business partners Shilo Thorp, left, and Rod Van Buren share a smile at Gatling’s Steakhouse on Jan. 14. The two opened the Peters Creek restaurant last month.

STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER

Those craving meat have to look no further than Peters Creek.

That’s the focus of new restaurant Gatling’s Steakhouse, located in the same building as American Legion Post 33 on the Old Glenn Highway. Owner Rod Van Buren said he wants the eatery, which opened Dec. 8, 2011, to be famous for its steaks and hamburgers.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Van Buren’s business partner and executive chef Shilo Thorp.

“He’s the one that’s created this,” Van Buren said. “I think Shilo and I are a really good match.”

Thorp’s idea for Gatling’s came to fruition quickly. After learning about the available space, Thorp came to Van Buren in mid-November about backing the restaurant. It opened about three weeks later.

Though slow at first, business has picked up in recent weeks, Van Buren said.

“This is a well-needed restaurant in this area,” he said.

Having the American Legion next door benefits both businesses, Van Buren said.

“We’ve got something to feed off of daily, which is the American Legion bar,” he said.

The restaurant also serves Sunday brunch and plans to have live music in the future, Thorp said.

The food is what keeps bringing customers back, Van Buren said.

“It’s good home cooking,” he said. “(Shilo) makes everything from scratch.”

Thorp, who’s been a cook for two decades and has catered parties for Newsweek and Time magazine, said the care put into every dish sets his restaurant apart from others.

“You’re not going to find this food anywhere else in town,” he said. “It’s not just the ingredients. Every dish that I do is a part of me.”

Gatling’s is a family affair. Thorp’s son, wife and mom are all part of the business.

Thorp said he’s wanted to open a restaurant for the past 10 years. Upon entering the space for the first time, Thorp said he knew he’d found the right place.

“I saw exactly what I wanted to do as soon as I walked in here,” he said.

Thorp said he’s overjoyed to have made Gatling’s a reality.

“It’s the best dream come true,” he said. “It’s kind of my Christmas present this year.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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