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‘Adapt and overcome’: Boise’s Golden Wheel plans to reopen, inspired by young footballer players

Something strange popped up on the marquee of the closed Golden Wheel Drive-in recently. A notice telling folks driving by that the classic drive-in was hiring.

As BoiseDev first reported in June, the classic burger and fries spot closed up shop. Owners were tight-lipped on the reason and declined comment about the closure after about 60 years in business.

But the Golden Wheel will soon roll on. Bink Desaro, a member of the Golden Wheel’s ownership, broke the news on a widely shared Facebook post Friday.

“Adapt and overcome,” Desaro wrote. “The world has changed, so to survive, we will change with it. I am reopening soon with a new business model.”

The model will drop hamburgers and other sandwiches from the menu, but new offerings will include finger steaks, chicken strips, and corn dogs, according to Desaro’s post. He said that removing grilled items will simplify operations – and will alleviate staffing challenges.

“I closed because it took me 14-15 employees to make it run smooth,” he wrote. “Six employees/shift. I was down to six employees total, two were my nephews lol.”

[‘I’ve got to do something’: Supply chain problems push Boise restaurant to revamp menu, name]

The restaurant’s shakes and signature fries will remain at the spot at 11000 W. Fairview Ave. in Boise.

“Everyone has come to Golden Wheel because of the love of our French fries and special sauce anyway,” Desaro wrote.

Football helped spark return

He wrote he looked at several options for the property, which the family owns, including a food truck park, bar — and even a fishing tackle shop. (Desaro has competed as a champion fishing pro.)

But another sport helped inspire him to get the restaurant back up and running. Optimist football.

[Downtown pizza place closes for good, donates remaining food]

“Several things played into making this decision to reopen, but one of the biggies was getting a phone call telling me that the Optimist Football team, the Golden Wheel Warriors, was going to the championship game! It’s funny the little things in life that turn you down a path – or maybe even saves your life…”

So, lovers of Golden Wheel fries and shakes, it sounds like you’ll have some young football players to thank the next time you enjoy this Boise classic.

“See you all soon, all you Golden Wheel-loving people out there!

Golden Wheel tells us they hope to be reopened by the week of Nov. 15th.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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