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Volume 3

Volume 3 puBlisher: Sally Freeman Office Manager: Shea Sutton Editorial Editor: Rachael Daigle Managing Editor: Deanna Darr Listings: Heather Lile Proofreaders: Annabel Armstrong, Jay Vail, Sheree Whiteley Creative Art Director: Leila Ramella-Rader Graphic Designers: Jen Grable Adam Rosenlund Photography by: Laurie Pearman Advertising Advertising Director: Lisa Ware Account Executives: Sabra Brue Jessi Strong Doug Taylor Nick Thompson Justin Vipperman Jill Weigel

cover: Main Street Bistro

Circulation Shea Sutton Man About Town: Stan Jackson Boise Weekly prints 30,000 copies every Wednesday and is available free of charge at more than 750 locations, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of Boise Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable in advance. No person may, without permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue. Boise Weekly is owned and operated by Bar Bar Inc., an Idaho corporation. To contact us: Boise Weekly’s office is located at 523 Broad St., Boise, ID 83702 Phone: 208-344-2055 Fax: 208-342-4733 E-mail: Address editorial, business and production correspondence to: Boise Weekly, P.O. Box 1657, Boise, ID 83701 The entire contents and design of Boise Weekly are ©2011 by Bar Bar, Inc. Boise weekly is an independently owned and operated newspaper.

this page: Tom Grainey’s

happy hour page

Nut House Look for these icons as your guide to the guide.






Live Music

Your Bar to Bar Guide

This slick little third edition of Bar Bar, Boise Weekly’s annual tribute to the art of getting your party on, is meant to help you find your party and dominate it. For BW, owning the party means having our own drink. As in having a drink named after us or created for us. For this issue, we’ve asked the city’s best bartenders to create something in our honor. The six bartenders who’ve created the cocktails published here are the top six finalists for Boise’s Best Bartender in last year’s Best of Boise contest. They’ve each created a cocktail, and being the boozers we are, generated tried at we’ve every one of them. So can you. Belly up at Pengilly’s, Happy Fish, The Modern, Front Door, Red Feather or Parrilla. We also spent some quality time learning how to make the drinks. Scan the QR code on this page to watch a video of all six bartenders hard at work. Thanks to each of the bartenders who took the time to craft a drink. And also thanks to 44 North Vodka for volunteering to be the liquid guinea pig. The results, if we do say so ourselves, are intoxicating. —Rachael Daigle


accepts Boise Weekly Card 8 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Guy Midnight/Parrilla Grill Years bartending: 18 Inspiration for drink: Midnight wanted to stay true to the atmosphere at Parrilla, so he created a tropical concoction he imagines people enjoying on a summer day. hates to make: Mojitos

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Mon Cheri 1.5 oz. 44째 North Rainier Cherry Vodka 1.5 oz. Coco Lopez cut with half-and-half 1 oz. fresh sweetened lime juice .5 oz. fresh strawberry puree Float of Goslings dark rum Shake together and serve over ice. Garnish with lime, rum-infused Rainier cherries and maraschino cherries.

Balcony Club

Downtown Boise 10th Street Station

104 N. 10th St., 208-344-2677 A subterranean space with plush rolling chairs, sports memorabilia and enough smoke in the air to set off the fire alarms.


999 Main St., 208-342-4900  Angell’s is known for its steaks and seafood, but its bar deserves attention of its own. Classy, yet casual. In warmer weather, the patio is a lush respite downtown.

Balcony Club

150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 226, 208-336-1313 It may be the fiercest gay bar in town, but the straight crowd can’t stay away. Ditch the Top 40 beats for the real dance deal and groove all night with Boise’s glam queens. 12 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Bar Gernika

202 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-344-2175 Basque favorites in a cozy bar. Belly up for one of the many imported brews or do it Basque style with red wine and tapas.


610 Grove St., 208-426-0538 It’s the country’s first restaurant distillery and a destination for those who want a good glass of wine or martini with house-made gin.

Basque Center

601 W. Grove St., 208-331-5097 or 208-342-9983 The unofficial watering hole for Boise’s Basque population with a reputation for stiff drinks and fun crowds.


text TORCH to 65579 for more recipes



Downtown Boise Berryhill/plan b/bacon

121 N. Ninth St., 208-387-3553 Pick your poison: Fine wine and fine dining, liquor and leather, or muffins and mimosas.

Bittercreek Ale House

246 N. Eighth St., 208-345-1813  With a big beer selection listed by geographical proximity and a menu with a local focus, this Northwest pub is always busy.


1010 W. Main St., 208-345-6605  Perfect for pints, pool, hangin’ with your peeps and catching a show.

Cactus Bar

517 W. Main St. Watering hole for the serious drinker by day, 20-something magnet by night. Dance on the bar or lounge on the alley patio.

Cafe Ole

404 S. Eighth St., 208-344-3222 In the basement of the Eighth Street Marketplace with a two-for-one happy hour.

Casa del Sol

409 S. Eighth St., 208-287-3660 American/Mexican menu in the heart of BODO featuring authentic street-style tacos.


211 N. Eighth St., 208-381-0222 Enjoy Cazba’s worldly food mixed with Opa’s hip, casual, welcoming vibe, all in one great Mediterranean-inspired space. 14 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Downtown Boise Chandlers Steakhouse

981 W. Grove St., 208-383-4300 Chandlers is as popular a stop for cocktails as it is for steaks. Live music is always on, and you can bask at the bar with a cocktail.

China Blue

100 S. Sixth St., 208-345-9515 With a bar in the women’s bathroom, one made of ice, two in VIP areas and one for everyone, China Blue is committed to partying.

Cottonwood Grille

913 W. River St., 208-333-9800 Cottonwood Grille is an unpretentious restaurant with a bar that beckons visitors in for a martini, good Scotch or glass of fine wine. Relax in the elegant surroundings or kick back on the riverside patio.

Dirty Little Roddy’s

100 S. Sixth St., 208-345-9515 At DLR, you can ride a mechanical bull. In your bikini. Giddy up.

Falcon Tavern

705 W. Bannock St., 208-947-3111 This downtown tavern has become “Boise’s neighborhood pub.” Why? Hand-pressed Kobe burgers and an ample beer selection. Lounge indoors or on the wide-open patio.


800 W. Idaho St., Ste. 200, 208-514-2531, Where the drinks are “fat,” the beer pong is serious and the party is ragin’. 16 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Gamekeeper Lounge

Downtown Boise Flatbread community Oven Gamekeeper Lounge 615 W. Main St., 208-287-4757 The popular family pizza joint has expanded and now has a full bar and two happy hours.


199 N. Eighth St., 208-287-1700 The newest inhabitant of one of the busiest corners downtown, the rich wood-paneled interior lends itself to a casual atmosphere, with a focus on locally grown seasonal food and unique cocktails.

Front Door

105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9201 Front Door consistently bottoms out Boise’s Coldest Beer Contest because good beer don’t need no cold. Serious beer drinkers and serious pizza people find safe haven here. 18 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

1109 W. Main St., 208-343-4611 Sink into one of the lavish rolling lounge chairs. Order a martini. Close your eyes and listen to live jazz. Sigh.

Grape Escape

800 W. Idaho St., 208-368-0200 The most sought-after real estate in downtown. Fine wine and food make this a great place to meet friends.

Ha’ Penny

855 Broad St., Ste. 250, 208-343-5568 It’s a little Emerald Isle in the City of Trees, with an Old World pub feel, taps lining the bar and a menu of Irish and American favorites.

Downtown Boise Happy Fish


the Huddle

The Lobby

855 Broad St., Ste. 250, 208-343-4810 The martini menu may be longer than the sushi menu. Try sweeties like the Jackie O or a classic like the James Bond. 205 N. 10th St., Ste. 110, 208-338-5454 Downtown’s newest sports bar is family friendly with 10 TVs and 16 taps.

Humpin’ Hannah’s

621 Main St., 208-345-7557  It’s the place to get your dance on. Favorite covers come courtesy of the Rocci Johnson Band, and nobody parties like Rocci.

Leku Ona

117 S. Sixth St., 208-345-6665  Leku Ona is a must on any Basque bar crawl. Ask for a kalimoxto to wash down the tapas.

Drinking Games Test your aim with an array of beer pong contests. Hit Shorty’s Saloon (page 46) at 9 p.m. on Mondays or Fatty’s (page 16) at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. If you’re into team competition, head to the Main Street Bistro (this page) on Tuesday nights. 20 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

405 S. Eighth St., Ste. 110, 208-287-5379  The motto is, “Life’s good. Flow with it.” Live music and miles of patio. 760 W. Main St., 208-991-2183 Airy, open, original artwork on the walls, a swell drink menu, pub grub to soak it all up and weekly tricycle races.

Lock, Stock & Barrel

1100 W. Jefferson St., 208-336-4266, An attractive and well-stocked bar has all the bases covered for a quiet drink or a midday meeting.

Mack and Charlie’s/Gusto

507 W. Main St., 208-830-9977 Sit among the city’s entire population of 21- to 25-year-old pretty people and enjoy extensive happy-hour specials. Gusto is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Mai Thai

750 W. Idaho St., 208-344-8424 Soak up the sophisticated atmosphere while waiting for a table or make it the starting point for an evening out.

Main Street Bistro

609 Main St., 208-345-9515 Known as the place to go looking good and looking for a good time. In the summer, the patio is standing room only, so get a drink and prepare to get cozy.

Downtown Boise Mulligans’

1009 W. Main St., 208-336-6998  Strong cheap drinks, plenty of bar games and cheap pub grub. A myriad of folks hang out at M1, so wander in, find your kind and settle in for the night.


111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886  A mysterious, diverse bar with a sexy red pool table and stiff drinks that will make you wonder why you ordered another. Smoke. Drink. Talk. Listen to music. Repeat.


513 W. Main St., 208-345-6344 With an antique wooden bar, this friendly pub is a favorite. Esquire called it one of the greatest in America, and Cosmo rated it the best bar in the country to steal a kiss.

Street Grub Need something to soak up all that booze? Look for an assortment of food carts congregated in the parking lot at Sixth and Grove streets, along Main Street between Fifth and Eighth streets, near Neurolux on 10th Street and by the Bouquet on Main Street.

22 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Piazza Di Vino

212 N. Ninth St., 208-336-9577 As a gallery and wine bar, Piazza di Vino offers an extensive collection of wines from around the world and art from around town.

Piper Pub & Grill

150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 200, 208-343-2444,  Perched above Eighth Street with a wraparound patio, Piper serves creative pub fare and has the largest Scotch selection around.

Red Feather Lounge

246 N. Eighth St., 208-429-6340  Red Feather is all about local. Candle-lit booths and swanky cocktails make it an excellent place to nibble on apps and relax.

The Red Room Tavern

1519 W. Main St., 208-331-0956  The deep red walls, velour kitsch decor and an elevated stage are sure to appeal to both bands and live-music fans.


105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9200 Tiki torches, grass umbrellas—you can almost feel the ocean breeze. Let the live music and island-themed drinks transport you.

Sapphire Bar & Grill

622 W. Idaho St., 208-363-7277  When live music and jager bomb specials are regular features at a bar, you can smell the party. This recent addition does lunch grub, happy hour and the late-night party scene equally well. Overachiever.

Downtown Boise Solid

405 S. Eighth St., 208-345-6620  Two happy hours, upscale pub grub, prime patio space and weekend breakfast late, late.


705 Fulton St., 208-342-0944  Downtown’s only microbrewery. Give the eye to the Hopzilla or the WhiteBird Wheat and soak it up with something from the full menu.

Tom Grainey’s/Basement 109 S. Sixth St., 208-345-2505 Two-for-one bar with live music both upstairs and down. You get two different experiences, and you don’t even have to leave the building.

The Voodoo Lounge

200 N. Capitol Blvd., 208-941-2144 The vibe at this dance club fluctuates depending on whether the club is hosting a New Wave dance-a-thon or a Burning Man after-party. A good time either way.

Willi B’s Sandwich Saloon 225 N. Fifth St., 208-331-5666  Rustic home of the $4 martini and $3 well drinks, Willi B’s is a spot to hit for the preparty hours.

Yen Ching

305 N. Ninth St., 208-384-0384  Have a martini with your potstickers and chow mein. There’s nothing fancy about Yen Ching, but it has an air of class nonetheless.

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David Stanciu/Pengilly’s Saloon Years bartending: Six Inspiration for drink: Stanciu’s use of a homemade rhubarb syrup goes with the idea of keeping things Idaho-based, while challenging his creativity. hates to make: Bloody Marys

Aldous Huxley

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1.75 oz. 44° North Magic Valley Wheat Vodka 1 oz. homemade rhubarb syrup (made with rhubarb, water, tarragon and sugar) Splash fresh-squeezed lemon juice Orange bitters Hint of the bubbly Shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with blood orange and tarragon.

Downtown West Gil’s K-9 Bar

2506 Main St., 208-345-4420  This place is a classic. It may look like a dive outside but don’t be scared. Pub grub and a healthy selection of libations lurk inside.

Lucky Dog

2223 Fairview Ave., 208-333-0074 Great prices and strong pours could make Lucky Dog your neighborhood gay bar—even if it’s nowhere near your ’hood.

Modern Hotel and Bar

1314 W. Grove St., 208-424-8244 One of the chicest lounges in Boise. With 45-rpm record players in each bathroom and stellar food, the Modern Hotel Bar is definitely not your average joint.

Pitchers and Pints

1108 W. Front St., 208-906-1355 Don’t let the scruffy exterior scare you off. The inside has been remodeled, the patio in back is good for beer pong and summer nights, plus the place offers $1 drafts everyday.


2801 Fletcher St., 208-342-9420  This is a bar for dogs but humans will be tolerated. Without a canine companion, you don’t belong at the Sympo. If you can find it, you may be enthralled.

The Torch

1826 Main St., 208-344-0218  This is the kind of bar your mom warned you about. It’s not much to look at, but the bikiniclad dancers are definitely the draw. 26 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Broadway Broadway Bar



Jim’s Alibi

1712 Broadway Ave., 208-342-9951  1233 Broadway Ave., 208-426-9188 Find another place in town where drinks are Sushi and Japanese steakhouse with nigiri as cheap and as stiff as they are at this dark and roll happy hour specials and cocktails and divey bar and you might win a medal. made with fresh fruits and juices. 1326 Broadway Ave., 208-345-5688 With TVs blaring and waitresses in skimpy outfits, it stays true to the sports bar label.

End Zone

1010 Broadway Ave., 208-384-0613 Peanuts, a patio and pinball adorn the space of this small college bar. It’s a must-stop on football game days.

28 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

2710 Broadway Ave., 208-342-9220  Drinks are cheap, the folks are friendly, the darts are always ready and in the summertime, the hidden back patio is a great little spot to chillax away from busy Broadway Ave.


550 Broadway Ave., 208-761-3076 This strip-mall spot is all about the drink specials, beer pong, Rock Band on the projector screen and Boise State football.

karaoke page

Charlie Brown’s

Broadway/Boise Bench R Bar

1041 S. Broadway Ave., 208-629-0029 Neighborhood bar near Boise State. Opens daily with an extended happy hour that fits perfectly into a college budget—just in time to take a break from the books.

Suds Tavern

1024 Broadway Ave., 208-345-9656  The epitome of a college dive bar. The drinks are priced for a financially-challenged crowd, shots and beer specials abound, and it’s a party any night of the week.

Charlie Brown’s

5783 Overland Road, 208-375-6541  It’s like the old guy who’s lived in the same place his whole life; he doesn’t plan on going anywhere, and as long as you’re nice to him, he’ll be nice right back.

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Crescent Bar/Grill

5500 W. Franklin Road, 208-322-9856,  To eat and drink here, one must follow a small, but important set of rules: Love cold beer, sports, good service, kick-ass happy hours, and you must not be a lawyer.


1228 Oakland Ave., 208-344-6235  This corner bar is a favorite hangout for the Boise State set. You’re likely to see students tossing back cheap beer, playing pool and taking a break from the books.

Jo’s Sunshine Lounge

1115 N. Curtis Road, 208-376-2700  Drinking at Jo’s is like drinking in the belly of a ship. Porthole-esque lights are juxtaposed with a Western feel, and the music is rockin’.

Boise Bench/East Boise Jumpin’ Janet’s

572 Vista Ave., 208-342-7620 A cozy bar with games and specials aplenty. The menu of pub food will help soak up the two-for-one happy hour cocktails.

Little Dutch Garden

Overland Bar

3907 W. Overland Road, 208-336-4707  In this divey place, employees are friendly, a Jagermeister dispenser keeps it cold and the beer is cheap.

1910 S. Owyhee St.  The Plank 650 S. Vista Ave., 208-336-1790 Grab a beer and try your luck at horseshoes in the huge back yard at this little neighborNot just Boise’s only pirate bar, but it may be hood bar. the only pirate bar that doesn’t serve rum. Beer and wine only, though it’s also got bar McCleary’s Pub grub, darts, live music and a regular crowd 604 N. Orchard Ave., 208-342-3007  of scalawags. This place is dark, cool and decorated in varying shades of green. There’s plenty of beer on tap, and if you need a little nosh try the nachos, popcorn or pickled eggs.

Navajo Room

4900 Emerald St., 208-343-5817  The Navajo has served up suds and stiff drinks for more than 40 years and remains a low-key place to meet loyal regulars.

Tricycling under the influence It’s both a danger and a test for patrons at The Lobby (page 20) on Thursday nights starting at 10 p.m. Tiny trikes race in circles for glory and a bar tab.

34 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly


1005 S. Vista Ave., 208-345-0135   The wall between the bar and dining area means it’s super family friendly on the restaurant side, and drinkers can puff with impunity.

The Torch 2

610 S. Vista Ave., 208-336-4747  Drink in the company of Boise’s faux busted, faux tanned, finest ladies. All male patrons, all female staff (except the DJ in his little ol’ cabin), go figure.

Vista Bar

813 S. Vista Ave., 208-342-9911  The little A-frame has been a watering hole for years. According to the sign out front: “It’s where the fun begins.” We tend to agree.


276 Bob White Court, 208-338-5000 A scene like no other in town, with two happy hours, lake-side dining, a DJ in the lounge and just the right amount of excess.

boiseweekly | Bar Guide 2011 | 35

The Refuge

East Boise Ben’s Crow Inn

The Refuge

Eastside Tavern

Stubs Sports Pub

6781 Warm Springs Ave., 208-342-9669  “The Inn” hasn’t changed in years and still offers relief to anyone who thought about going rock climbing or biking but decided to tie one on instead. 610 E. Boise Ave., 208-345-3878 All walks of life converge for a little late night drink slinging in the dark shopping-mall-esque surroundings of the Eastside.

Lucky 13 Pizza/The Garage

3662 S. Eckert Road, 208-344-6967 Be sure to bring your bike, dog and a gaggle of kids. Faced with pizza, beer, salads and sandwiches about halfway between Boise and Lucky Peak, few can resist the urge to pull over and refuel. 36 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste. 300, 208-424-8211, With a neighborhood-pub feel, it boasts a large beer and wine selection, and homecookin’ style pub food, pool tables and TVs. 3662 Findley Ave., 208-336-7882 A sports-lover’s haven. Every seat allows viewing of the giant TVs. Watch sports while digging into apps, a pizza or a sandwich named after a sports MVP.

Tavern at Bown Crossing 3111 S. Bown Way, 208-345-2277 Choose the patio and enjoy a bottle of wine and a steak, or lounge on the second- floor balcony with sushi and a martini.

North Boise 13th Street Pub and Grill

1520 N. 13th St., 208-639-8888  Prime Hyde Park space where families brunch, sports fans gather, and cyclists claim table space after a long ride.

Highlands Hollow

2455 Harrison Hollow Lane, 208-343-6820, This raucous brewery at the foot of Bogus Basin Road caters to the outdoorsy person summer and winter. Highlands serves up a list of its own beers and is a North End favorite.

Hyde Park Pub

1501 N. 13th St., 208-336-9260  A pub in every sense of the word, HPP has a menu of food you eat with your hands, a pool table, TVs in every corner, a selection of tap brews and that neighborhood restaurant feel.

O’Michael’s Pub & Grill

2433 N. Bogus Basin Road, 208-342-8948, Apres ski destination in the winter and patio lounging in the summer. Sit fireside in the bar with a signature Irish Coffee or take the whole family for Monday’s $5 burger special.

Parrilla Grill

1512 N. 13th St., 208-323-4688 This concrete-and-metal Hyde Park eatery is a popular place to chill during the halcyon days of summer, but Parrilla’s hot wraps and microbrews are a fine way to stay warm in the cold winter months as well.

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Michael Bowers/Modern Hotel and Bar Years bartending: Three and a half Inspiration for drink: Bowers looked toward the tastes of spring, playing strong flavors against the vodka. hates to make: Declined to answer.

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Coquette 1.5 oz. 44째 North Magic Valley Wheat Vodka .75 oz. Cocchi Americano .5 oz. honey syrup (Stir together equal parts honey and hot water. Cool before using.) 1 tsp. Sherry vinegar (8 percent acidity) Two 3/4-inch cubes of roasted beet 1 sprig rosemary, plus more for garnish Put beet and rosemary into a mixing glass and muddle without liquid until beets are completely broken. Add remaining ingredients. Fill shaker three-fourths full with ice and shake vigorously for 10-12 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and garnish with an additional sprig of rosemary.

Burger ‘n Brew

North Boise/State Street Sun Ray Cafe

Brews Brothers

1602 N. 13th St., 208-343-2887  The bike crowd gathers here for pizza and beer after a ride, creating a serious see-andbe-seen scene.

6928 W. State St., 208-853-0526  It’s like a beer drinker’s rumpus room equipped with a jukebox and mellow locals. This smoky joint is the kind of place where everyone has their own mug up on the wall.

20th Century Lanes

Burger ‘N Brew

4295 W. State St., 208-345-7700 4712 W. State St., 208-342-8695  There’s a line of taps at this family restaurant with sports memorabilia and separate bar for Homey, with bowling pin and ball bar stools. the serious-about-the-game crowd. You can get a chocolate martini or cheap beer to spice up your night at the lanes.

44 Club

4340 W. State St., 208-344-0693  The 44 Club has two things going for it: karaoke and no taps. So if you’re in the mood for an old bar with some local color, belly up.

40 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Dutch Goose

3515 W. State St., 208-342-8887  A no-smoking policy offers a respite from many bars’ smoky ozone layer. Foosball, darts, pool, horseshoe pits and TVs galore keep those who go to drink happy for hours, as does the food.

State Street/South Boise Fireside Inn

1610 N. 31st St., 208-342-9075  When compiling a dive-bar hop, Fireside is a must. No windows. Dark and smoky. It’s the kind of place where you can hide out all day.

The Lift Bar and Grill

4091 W. State St., 208-342-3250
  This sweet spot tempts with its drink specials. Tuesday is Holy Oly night, with 50-cent Olympia cans, and you can throw back $2 domestics nightly.

Montego Bay

3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane, 208-853-5070  A little bit of the tropics in a land-locked state. Montego has layers of patios and bars cascading lakeside and pool inside.


3301 N. Collister St., 208-331-8225  It may look like it’s about to fall, but the ever-present party keeps the roof raised. This is where students, the blue-collar crowd and North Enders come together.

Turner’s Sports Bar

4022 W. State St., 208-342-9090  This rickety neighborhood box is crawling with weary regulars, but keep in mind that you’re all there for the same thing: cocktails.

Buddies Pub

8654 W. Overland Road, 208-658-0906 Without another bar in sight, Buddies is a strip mall answer to drinking prayers.

boiseweekly | Bar Guide 2011 | 41

South Boise/West Boise Legends

7609 W. Overland Road, Ste. 100, 208-377-1819  Wrap your hands around mugs of regional beers. A full bar is available as well for sports lovers who go for the big game and the food.

The Beer House

9751 Cory Lane, 208-322-9958 The Beer House is an old house that serves beer, smack in the middle of a neighborhood.

The Buffalo Club

10206 W. Fairview Ave., 208-321-1811  Anyone with a hankerin’ for Hank will feel right at home with line dancing lessons, live music, poker and pool.

Cafe Ole

210 N. Milwaukee Road, 208-322-0222  Escape the mall and hit happy hour, when drink and appetizer specials are cheap.

Hooligan’s Pub

10704 Overland Road, 208-376-9800  The place where an average Joe can grab a beer and play some pool. Wood decor, plenty of windows and lots of fans keep the place comfortable and welcoming.

Lindy’s Steakhouse

12249 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-375-1310  Lindy’s is like your Aunt Lola. She’s a lot older than she looks and parties a lot harder than you’d suspect. Check the full menu, TVs and assorted entertainment options.

McCleary’s Pub

Taking the GolD(fish) We might not have horse racing, but every Thursday starting at 10 p.m. at Mack and Charlie’s (page 20) you can try your luck at goldfish racing. Blow in a straw to encourage your fish in a rain gutter track and win a bar tab—and your fish.

42 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

9155 W. State St., 208-853-9910  The pub boasts a back yard bigger than yours, and it beckons those who like to imbibe while recreating.

Nut House

12505 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-287-2191  With TVs showing all NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games, Nut House is none other than a sports bar with a long line of taps.

The Office

6125 W. Fairview Ave., 208-672-0087 Thirty-plus beers on tap, pub food, two 100inch projection TVs. Check out what the DJ is spinning or join in the karaoke.

West Boise/Eagle The Pocket

Village Pub

1487 N. Curtis Road, 208-375-2474  9936 Fairview Ave., 208-375-3085  Venture inside this pool hall for a cold brew Walk inside and you will be immediately or a stiff cocktail. If knocking around balls drawn to the central fire, the classic booths or isn’t your thing, the bar has plenty of distraca stool at the bar. It’s a long-standing institutions: TVs, video games and jukeboxes. tion that has a new feel.


6570 Fairview Ave., 208-322-9122  Q’s defines “pool hall.” You’ll probably hear Ted Nugent blasting as you drink brews and line up your next shot.

Sockeye Grill and Brewery 3019 N. Cole Road, 208-658-1533  The serious beer connoisseur’s brew pub. The double IPA is a hophead’s liquid dream. Live music Tuesday and Friday.

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155 E. Riverside Drive, 208-938-5093,  On the Boise River, the little brother of the Boise bar still features the distillery’s own hooch. A table on the riverside patio is worth the fight.

Eagle Bella Aquila

775 S. Rivershore Lane, 208-938-1900   The riverside restaurant boasts one of the best patios around. We suggest a Bella Bellini with strawberry vodka.

Busters Bar and Grill

1396 E. State St., 208-938-1800 The waitstaff’s motto is skin to win, TVs abound and pub food is the standard.


190 E. State St., 208-939-2500 A waiting area for the casually elegant Italian restaurant, the great bar has a full list of offerings to enjoy with or without food.

River Rock Alehouse

228 E. Plaza St., 208-938-4788 Here, the patio hosts live music in warm months, and the bar ain’t a bad spot to enjoy a seriously diverse selection of beer.

Gettin’ In First, use your real ID, but make sure it hasn’t expired. In Idaho, it’s a no-go if your photo ID isn’t valid.

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Shorty’s Saloon

Eagle/Garden City Willowcreek

1065 E. Winding Creek Dr., 208-938-3010 A spot for the Eagle party crowd to get its groove on. The lounge offers live music, dancing and late-night entertainment.

Boulevard Bar

4079 Chinden Blvd., 208-383-9035 The Boulevard is a tough joint, but once you’ve seen how much fun the regulars are having, you’re going to want to become one.

Club Savvy’s

3933 Chinden Blvd., 208-429-9339   From poker tournaments to pool to karaoke seven days a week, Club Savvy’s courts the crowd that wants to have fun. Most often, that crowd is a fresh-faced bunch that also wants to take advantage of the dance floor. 46 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Quarter Barrel

4902 Chinden Blvd., 208-322-3430 Live music, karaoke and no smoking at this classed-up Garden City bar.

The Ranch Club

3544 Chinden Blvd., 208-343-7447    This ain’t no country club—it’s way too much fun. Poker nights, karaoke, chili bomb specials and if all else fails: order an astro-pop. Never heard of it? Better start drinkin’.

Shorty’s Saloon

5467 Glenwood St., 208-322-6699  It’s been around for a million years and isn’t going anywhere. Waylon and Willie are on the jukebox, Budweiser and Coors are on tap, and live bands are on stage.

Garden City/Kuna Stagecoach Inn

3132 Chinden Blvd., 208-342-4161  Strong drinks and big steaks in the old-school bar and restaurant.

Creekside Lounge

751 W. Fourth St., 208-922-4421  Full bar, large wine selection, cigars, a handy steak joint next door and the name-implied creekside setting offer up Kuna’s best place 4-E’s Bar 379 W. Main St., 208-922-1853  to get a martini, a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. With racks on the wall and a pair of matching flower curtains, the bar feels like home. Longhorn Lounge Check out the quarter pool on antique tables. 458 W. Main St., 208-922-4163  You never know who will end up here, but Cowgirls chances are they’re hungry. It’s the only place 353 Ave. E, 208-922-9522  in Kuna for late-night grub. Prices are so cheap, they don’t need a happy hour. Cowgirls has a reputation for putting on a serious party. The bar is designed for you to dance on, with an extra-wide counter and handles on the ceiling to help you stay up.

boiseweekly | Bar Guide 2011 | 47

Mark Allen/Red Feather Lounge Years bartending: Seven Inspiration for drink: Allen wanted to keep things seasonal by exploring the flavors of the coming spring. hates to make: Long Island Iced Teas

Snake River Sour

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2 oz. 44째 North Magic Valley Wheat Vodka 1.25 oz. fresh-pressed lemon juice .75 oz. cinnamon-vanilla cordial * 1 egg white Shake the drink over a block of ice and serve over cubes in a glass with a salted rim. Zest fresh lemon peel over the top and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon. Finish off with a fresh twist of lemon.

* Make the cinnamon-vanilla cordial by steeping cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans in water (heavier on the vanilla beans). Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down a little and let it simmer for a half hour or so. Strain everything out of the water using a chinois and a coffee filter. Add sugar as if making simple syrup, basically a two-to-one, sugar-to-water ratio. Last, add a little high-proof vodka to the mix to prevent any fermentation and help preserve the cordial.

Kuna/Meridian Red Eye Saloon

414 W. Main St., 208-922-9797  It’s the kind of place where you can lose track of time while watching a band or NASCAR. The Red Eye has been a part of Kuna forever and continues to instill a desire to have a good time and still behave yourself.

Bill-N-Lynn’s Place

229 W. Franklin Road, 208-888-4075  Don’t mistake this bar for anything other than what it is: a shack in the middle of a mud parking lot. Bill-N-Lynn’s is Meridian’s smokier, darker and grittier version of Cheers.

52 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Buffalo Wild Wings

3223 E. Louise Drive, 208-288-5485 The popular sports bar has plenty of TVs, even more choices of wings and a full bar to wash it all down with.

Bull’s Head Pub

1441 N. Eagle Road, 208-855-5858 The English pub upstairs is for the grown-ups, while downstairs is family friendly.

Busted Shovel

704 N. Main St., 208-288-2217  It’s a biker bar that’s not just for bikers. Check out the choppers and hogs lined up out front throughout the summer.

Cera Grindstaff/

Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House

Years bartending: Four Inspiration for drink: Grindstaff is from a family of cooks so she grabbed the Food Bible, gathered her family and explored flavors that complement the taste of cherry. hates to make: Mojitos

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The Venetian 2 oz. 44째 North Rainier Cherry Vodka .5 oz. balsamic vinegar with red wine and thyme reduction Splash of Coke on top Garnish with a pear wedge and slice of goat cheese.

Meridian Cheerleaders

3541 N. Eagle Road, 208-939-9209  At this family friendly sports pub, everyone is a sports fan. The bar is a cool place to drink but the real looker is the 1968 Shelby.


729 N. Main St., 208-888-4049 This little low-ceiling joint is a low-key hangout for the crowd who likes its wine fine and the music smooth.

Gelato Cafe

2053 E. Fairview Ave., Ste. 101, 208-846-8410  Sip on unusual martinis, all of which include a scoop of gelato.

Getting Home Don’t try to hail a cab in downtown Boise— there are specific pickup zones every Friday and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Head to the east side of Main Street between Capitol Boulevard and Ninth Street or to Sixth Street between Main and Idaho streets, or to the south side of Broad Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets.

56 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly


Meridian Gino’s Italian Restaurant

3015 W. McMillan Road, Ste. 108, 208-887-7710   Gino’s might be known for its rich Italian food, but without another bar in sight, it has also become quite the cocktail hangout.

Harry’s Bar and Grill

2032 E. Overland Road, 208-888-9868  Serving beer so cold that it’s a beer slushie. The walls are full of “Harry” paraphernalia from Dirty Harry to When Harry Met Sally.


3268 E. Pine Ave., 208-288-0898  With its elegant, sweeping bar, it’s a casual place that manages to feel upscale. Eat at the bar or in one of the bar-side booths, or wait for a table where you can enjoy nightly dinner specials.

58 | Bar Guide 2011 | boiseweekly

Kay and Traci’s 127 Club

127 E. Idaho St., 208-884-0122  Country music, darts, beer and pool. Locals are well acquainted with the bar, frequently taking in live music on the weekend.


501 S. Main St., 208-898-9470  Muggsy’s is like Disney World for the over21, sports-bar-loving crowd. The place is packed with giant wood furniture, flatscreens and sports clutter from NASCAR to cricket.

The New Frontier Club

116 E. Broadway Ave., 208-888-9034 The New Frontier is a smoke-filled gathering place where regulars have their favorite stools and distractions abound from copious pool tables to a dance floor to assorted games.

Meridian/Star Rudy’s Pub and Grill

White Water Saloon

Schooners Pub and Grill

Sam’s Saloon

2310 E. Overland Road, 208-884-4453  It’s a family friendly sort of sports bar, where big-screen TVs vie for your attention with pool, assorted games and a full menu. 499 S. Main St., 208-884-3737 Partake of the full bar or quench your thirst with a beer from one of the 25 taps at this friendly neighborhood bar.


324 S. Meridian Road, 208-888-2048  Lots of locals, with clientele sauntering in from the bowling alley next door. If you’re into darts, they have five boards.

1646 N. Meridian Road, 208-888-3063 Don’t be fooled by its Meridian address. This bar is the real deal. No food, no kids, light up as you please.

10937 W. State St., 208-286-7794  Any given time, locals can be seen surrounding the bar, throwing horseshoes or playing pool after a long work day. Regulars rule the stools, but visitors are welcome to pop in.


11123 W. State St., 208-286-7743  The newest addition to the Star bar scene is a good ol’ Irish pub with a full menu. Check out the patio and horseshoe pits.

boiseweekly | Bar Guide 2011 | 59

Jacob Detweiler/

Happy Fish Sushi and Martini Bar

Peppered Periodical Years bartending: 13 Inspiration for drink: Detweiler used BW as his inspiration, including the use of “liberal amounts of alcohol.� Hates to Make: Bananas Foster

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2 oz. 44° North Magic Valley Wheat Vodka .5 oz. Svedka vanilla vodka 1/3 oz. organic raw blue agave nectar Splash of soda water 2 slices organic ginger 1/2 an organic cherry bomb pepper 1/4 an organic jalapeno pepper 1/4 an orange wheel 1/2 a lemon wheel Pinch of cardamom Candied ginger Combine the cherry bomb pepper, jalapeno, ginger, orange and lemon wheels, and muddle all ingredients in a shaker glass. Pour both vodkas over ingredients. Let set for two minutes. Add blue agave nectar, cardamom, a splash of soda water, and shake over ice vigorously. Strain and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with candied ginger.

Bar Bar Volume 3  

A printed companion to libations, deals and potential debauchery in the whole of Ada County brought to you by the swillers at Boise Weekly

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