In April 1979 they struck gold: a little house on 3rd Avenue downtown that needed a lot of work.
"Van was driving by one day and saw the guy putting up the ‘For Rent' sign," Amon said. "We did a beeline into the driveway, and my mom and dad sent us the first and last months' rent."
As for the name, when the group left the Jade Room they wanted to bring their stove with them so they snuck it out with a few other things. They say it was like they were on the set of the old Marx Brothers movie, "A Night at the Opera."
"This was the sign we put up, this is when we started to remodel the place," Amon said, showing a photo with the original Marx Bros. marquee boarded across a window.
"Van installed the linoleum in the kitchen and gashed his leg," Amon said. "I had to take him to the hospital."
That summer they also sold sausage sandwiches to make ends meet.
"So every time there was a fair, -- you know, around the summer circuit season -- we'd load up the sausage tent and off we would go," Amon said.
Those days are long gone. They bought the building in 1986, and have weathered good and bad years. Over the decades, they've catered to the Grateful Dead, Diana Ross, Harrison Ford and dozens of other celebrities.
Hale easily summed up the Marx Bros. philosophy.
"A good restaurant to me is, you know, great food, great service, great atmosphere, and a great wine list," Hale said.
At Marx Bros., the wine list is 400 strong. They've received critical acclaim around the world -- and yet it's the hometown crowd they cherish the most.
"The market kind of grew up with us," Amon said. "We have now the sons and daughters of the people that were dating here in the 70's."
Amon and Hale recently opened Muse, a new restaurant at the Anchorage Museum.
Contact Megan Baldino at firstname.lastname@example.org