And Peggy Brown has long been its heart.
"I mean, she did everything. She did the books, raised the kids," said her husband George Brown. "She was one hell of a partner."
George and Peggy Brown may have been destined to run a diner – they met in one during World War II.
"To show you how impressed I was, I left a 50-cent tip," at that initial meeting, George said. "Now 50 cents was like a 10 or 20 dollar tip during war time, you understand."
They couple moved to Alaska in 1951 with their young family, seeking adventure and business opportunity in the north. They had visited another restaurant named the "Lucky Wishbone" in Arizona and decided it was a good name.
They opened on November 30, 1955, and set themselves apart by air-freighting chicken to Anchorage to guarantee freshness. They built a loyal clientele: pilots, cops, construction workers, governors, senators and everyone in between.
Things really took off after the 1964 Anchorage earthquake, when people whose homes were damaged couldn't use their kitchens. Instead, they came to the Lucky Wishbone night after night.
Meanwhile, Brown watched Anchorage grow into a city, and the restaurant become an institution.
"She watched statehood, she watched the growth and development of Anchorage – it was very exciting," Brown Heller said. "And at the same time, the restaurant got busier and busier."
They picked up employees loyal enough to stay for decades, (one waitress worked at the restaurant for more than 50 years) rewarding them with health insurance, profit sharing and even 401k plans.
Family, customers and employees remember Peggy's polish – she always wore a white shirt, but would make sure it was crisp, and maybe pin a flower to it – and her ever-present smile. She had the uncanny ability to remember names of people she'd met only once, sometimes years before.
Carolina Stacey started working for the Browns when she was 16. She's never left, and now co-manages the restaurant. Peggy taught her how to set a table (menus always facing out, knife and fork precisely arranged) and how to greet customers (always a smile, often a hug).
"They loved me like a family member," she said.
In 2002, when the restaurant won a national small business award, Peggy Brown was invited to Washington D.C., where Sen. Ted Stevens, a Lucky Wishbone fan, finagled a meeting with Brown and President George W. Bush.
Stevens told the president, "Mr. President, that lady makes the best hamburgers and chicken in the world."
Peggy was "thrilled" with the meeting, Brown Heller said.
Peggy's warmth remains at the restaurant even though she is gone, customers say.
Postal worker George Comeaux has eaten breakfast -- three eggs over easy, a hamburger patty and hash browns with plenty of pepper – at the Lucky Wishbone every workday for years.
"When I first came here, (Peggy) was the first person I met," he said. "I've never felt more welcomed in a place."
Family members say there are no plans to close the restaurant, and hope that George and Peggy's grandchildren will take it on someday. For now, George will continue to split time between a home they own in Arizona and Alaska and run the business with the help of longtime staff.
"She and I had a great life together," he said. "And we were married for 67-plus years. She was the greatest partner you could possibly have, in every way."
A service will be held on Monday, April 25, at 2 p.m. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church at the corner of 8th Avenue and F Street. Visitation will be at the church from Noon-2 p.m. The family says that memorials are welcome to Teen Challenge, the APU President’s Forum, All Saints' Church or other charities.