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‘Back to its old glory:’ Boise-born Michelin-starred chef plans two restaurants & hotel in historic Main St. building

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A 119-year-old Downtown Boise building could soon return “to its old glory,” under a plan from Cal Elliott.

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The former Bouquet bar at 1010 Main St. stood vacant for years, after the bar closed. Now Elliott will move forward on a long-gestating plan to bring the building back to life.

BoiseDev first reported on the project in 2016. In the last four years, crews worked to clean up the former bar and long-abandoned hotel building.

Elliott’s pedigree

“I’ve been working my tail off to get the project going, Elliott said. He grew up in Boise before starting a career as a chef.

Elliott earned a highly-coveted Michelin Star, and started Rye in New York City. He has big plans for his return to the City of Trees.

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His work in NYC grabbed attention from the New York Times, VICE, Eater and others. Rye closed last year ahead of Elliott’s work in Boise.

“We will have two restaurants downstairs, as well as a hotel lobby,” he said. “We’re trying for a 39-room hotel upstairs. We are doing it all through the Federal Historic Guidelines. It’s a complete historic renovation.”

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Permits show Elliott has applied for design review approval with the City of Boise on the 4-story building.

The historic Brunswick back bar remains in the space. It came to Boise in 1903, according to an archive of the Blues Bouquet’s website. It moved to several locations on Main St. until landing at 1010 Main in the 1970s.

The Avery Boise
The interior of the Bouquet during renovation in 2017. Courtesy Brett Adler

Reviving history

The Averyl Building housed a number of businesses over its history, including a movie theater, the hotel and more. It is one of Downtown Boise’s oldest surviving structures. The hotel hasn’t welcomed guests since the 1960s.

[Up in smoke: Downtown Boise’s oldest store (with a haunted reputation) closes up shop]

“I want to revitalize Main Street and bring it back to its old glory,” Elliott said. “I want to modernize the old Manitou Hotel and keep it historically accurate and bring a lot of talent to the project. I’ve been practicing cooking in NYC and I want to bring my talents back to Boise, and I think Boise needs a historic hotel.”

He said he will go above and beyond on the project to keep its historical character intact.

“To do a historic renovation is limiting, but that’s where our brain is at – it shows the most respect for Boise and the development,” he said.

The project will go in front of Boise’s Design Review board. No hearing date set.

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