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Going up: New bar, restaurant, office project underway in Downtown Boise

Idaho AGC Going Up

Work is underway on a new restaurant, bar and office space in Downtown Boise. BoiseDev first told you about the project at 505 W. Bannock last summer.

Former DC lobbyist Greg Strimple tore down the former Wells Fargo Bank branch near the Statehouse earlier this year. Construction crews started work on the replacement building this spring.

Just a few blocks from the Statehouse, it will feature a three-story, 15,000 square foot building on the skinny lot. The first floor will house a new cocktail lounge and bar, as well as a private bar area. The second will include a restaurant that features fine dining. And the top story will feature office space.

“The upper floor will be an office space with an outdoor patio area,” Ian McLaughlin with PivotNorth Architecture said in an application letter. “In the future this office space may possibly be renovated into a residence for the building owner.”

“The front base of the building will be a painted wood, so that it can be highly-detailed at the pedestrian level of the building, “Chris Borders with Pivot North wrote in an earlier application letter. “A large two-story entry helps the public understand where to enter the building. There will be a cessed outdoor seating area along the sidewalk at the first level. This will allow for a feel of sidewalk seating with impeding the width of the public sidewalk.”

Monkey motif in ‘neglected’ corner

Monkey Bar Boise
Rendering of the new project at 505 W. Bannock in Boise. Via PivotNorth Architecture
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Renderings submitted to the City of Boise show an awning with the words “The Monkey Bar,” as well as an image of a monkey fashioned in metal set across a pattern of bars.

A report from the Capital City Development Corp. says the project will cost $5.5 million in total development costs. The urban renewal agency will consider paying out up to $80,000 in reimbursements for upgrades to the streetscape in front of the building, as well as a power transformer.

“Despite being right in the heart of downtown, this project is on a block that looks and feels neglected,” CCDC board chair Dana Zuckerman said. “It takes it from a sleepy little bank to what hopefully will be a bustling restaurant and more active block.”

Strimple is president of GS Strategy Group. His past work includes the campaigns of Sen. John McCain, Gov. Chris Christie and others where he provided pollster and advisory services. According to a Spokesman-Review recounting of a 2010 Idaho Statesman story, Strimple and his wife chose Boise to get away from the campaign grind.

The former Wells Fargo dates to about 1945. It began life as a candy store and restaurant, before transitioning to a credit union branch for federal employees in the 1950s. It later became home to First Security Bank, before Wells Fargo bought it in 2000.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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