Member Login

Boise’s oldest bar set for big upgrades. But the history won’t be touched


It’s been named the best dive bar in Idaho, the most popular Uber destination, and, simply – Boise’s oldest bar. The Cactus Bar on Main St. is known for cheap drinks, loads of history, and notorious bathrooms. And soon, it’s about to see a few changes.

In 2019, property owner Daniel Rockrohr applied to revamp the historic bar’s back patio – which would significantly add to the bar’s capacity with outdoor space. Now, Rockrohr has applied for a building permit signaling work could soon start.

Crews would thoroughly redo the space between the bar building and the alley. A new structure at the rear of the patio is proposed, which would add a second bar to service the outdoor seeing – and provide a much-needed set of new bathrooms.

[Downtown Boise’s Spacebar will expand, move – but not too far]

Rendering of the new back patio at The Cactus in Boise. Via Cole Architects

The patio remodel is top-to-bottom. A new steel and wood-slat pergola would provide shade, an upgraded fence would surround the space on all sides, new tables and barstools would go in — and even the existing blacktop would be ripped out and replaced with concrete. A small space for a mobile food cart is also shown on project plans.

Renderings also show a possible mural carrying on the cactus theme painted on the mason block wall along the new outdoor bar.

The building permit values the remodel at $300,000.

The 1936 mason-block bar building will see no changes, according to the application.

Upgrades at The Cactus are the latest changes on the block. Two new apartment buildings and a small office building will open early next year across the alley.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
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 [email protected].

Start your day with all the local info you need.

Unsubscribe any time
Related stories