Down­town Boise restau­rant and bar will close

The Idaho Statesman - - Classifieds -

There won’t be any bag­pipers play­ing funeral songs. The de­pend­able wall of Scotch whisky will make sure the mood stays fes­tive.

But a few tears are bound to land on the bar at the Piper Pub & Grill, 150 N. 8th St., over the next week or so.

The sec­ond-floor fix­ture in the Capitol Ter­race build­ing is clos­ing. A fi­nal hurrah is planned on Satur­day, Nov. 17.

Gene Hutchi­son broke the news to his 20 em­ploy­ees on Mon­day night.

“It’s been a long ride, for sure,” says Hutchi­son, who pur­chased the Piper Pub in 2008 with is wife, Erin. “I think it’s sad. Bot­tom line, I just think it’s a sad pro­gres­sion that hap­pens.”

Opened in 1989, the Piper Pub is one of the old­est com­bi­na­tion bar-and-restau­rant busi­nesses left Down­town. IS it the old­est? Who hasn’t sipped a cock­tail or eaten shep­herd’s pie on that out­door bal­cony over­look­ing Main Street?

Slowly but surely, the Boise that na­tives know is fad­ing into the ever-chang­ing sky­line.

Busi­nesses that Ida­hoans hold dear — but too of­ten take for granted — are mak­ing way for progress.

Hawkins Com­pa­nies, which pur­chased Capitol Ter­race in 2017, is spend­ing $2 mil­lion on ren­o­va­tions. The re­tail part of the build­ing will be re­named Main + Mar­ket­place.

Ten­ant turnover is part of the evo­lu­tion. Faced with a mon­thto-month lease since March, Hutchi­son de­cided it was time to exit. He wants to call it quits now rather than face evic­tion dur­ing hol­i­day sea­son, or in the slow Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary months. The Hutchisons will con­tinue run­ning their other busi­ness, Cap­i­tal City Event Cen­ter, 622 W. Idaho St.

The writ­ing has been on the wall at Capitol Ter­race. A dif­fer­ent ten­ant is be­ing planned, Hutchi­son says. Months ago, in hopes of stay­ing, he pro­posed re­brand­ing the Piper Pub — new name, new menu, ev­ery­thing.

No dice. So here we are. “I’m go­ing out on my own terms, ba­si­cally, rather than some­one else’s,” he says.

Piper Pub fol­lows the lead of for­mer Capitol Ter­race neigh­bor Ra­men Sho, whose own­ers made the same move in May after one year of busi­ness. Why? The lease con­tract.

Only Shige Ja­panese Cui­sine re­mains in that cor­ner of the sec­ond floor. But for how long?

“It’s go­ing to be all of us,” Hutchi­son pre­dicts.

I phoned Shige Ja­panese Cui­sine and reached out to the restau­rant on so­cial me­dia, but I was un­able to reach the own­ers.

Hutchi­son says what­ever ten­ant re­places Piper Pub will


need to be pricier. Prob­a­bly cor­po­rate.

“You try and be vi­able and have a nice lo­cal es­tab­lish­ment, lo­cally owned,” he says. “But if they go the route of cor­po­rate, it’s just money. It’s so ex­pen­sive down there that those are re­ally the only places that can sur­vive.”

I con­tacted Hawkins Com­pa­nies’ di­rec­tor of prop­erty man­age­ment. She for­warded my mes­sage along, but my call has not been re­turned.

It would be nice to get a sense of what Gary Hawkins, owner and CEO, en­vi­sions for Ida­hoans at Capitol Ter­race. “The lo­ca­tion is among the best in Boise,” he noted in an April me­dia re­lease.

Piper Pub will spend its fi­nal days in pro­gres­sive party mode. Watch the Piper Pub’s Face­book page for de­tails. Next week, there will be a fi­nal “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night Thurs­day. Then one last Fri­day happy hour. And, fi­nally, a friends-and-fam­ily bash Satur­day that’s open to the pub­lic — a good ol’ days, nos­tal­gia-filled day.

“A good chunk of it’s go­ing to be old em­ploy­ees,” Hutchi­son says. “A buddy of mine who bar­tended here is fly­ing in from Phoenix. Peo­ple com­ing in, mak­ing drinks, say­ing good­bye to ev­ery­one.”

“We’re go­ing to blow things up,” Hutchi­son prom­ises.

Some­times it feels like that’s the case, lit­er­ally, every­where you look in Boise.

Fol­low Michael Deeds on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Piper Pub & Grill/Face­book

Want a glass of Scotch to toast the Piper Pub? There’s a huge va­ri­ety up high be­hind the bar.

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