A new restaurant along the Boise River Greenbelt is expected to go up soon, and the owners hope it will be both a destination for users of the riverside pathway, and a place for people in the neighborhood to enjoy a meal closer to home.
Greg and Kari Strimple plan to open a new eatery in the Barber Station development in Boise’s Barber Valley, on the Greenbelt pathway. The project, with a temporary name of House of the Little Pig, will bring a much-asked-for dining option to the area.
“I think it’s going to be a dynamite location,” Greg Strimple said. “You can access it both off the Greenbelt for people going for a ride or run – and folks who want an easy place to have dinner.”
This will be the second food service outlet for the Strimples, who also own The Lively on Bannock St. in Downtown Boise. Greg Strimple is also the principal of GS Strategies, the firm behind the annual Boise State Idaho Public Policy Survey and other public survey work.
Greg Strimple says the restaurant will measure about 5,000 square feet, with an extensive outdoor patio along the Greenbelt and adjacent mill pond with an outdoor bar. The building will have two wings, each with unique exterior looks and interior concepts.
“We’ll have a tavern wing geared more toward adults, and more of a family restaurant on the other side,” Strimple said. “One side will be a bar/restaurant with a giant fireplace. It’s going to feel more like a New England barn type of feel. The other side is going to be where we have a restaurant with family seating and a take-out piece.”
Renderings show two complementing exterior styles.
“The tavern will have wood siding and a metal ceiling,” he said. “The other side will be much more concrete with molded parapets and a flat roof. One is going to be light and the other dark. An interesting push-pull.”
Strimple even hopes to put in a small stand of trees on the property to provide fruit seasonal for the restaurant.
Food for adults, and kids
The building will have a smokehouse, and Strimple said there will be a focus on smoked meats, pickled vegetables, and more. The house-made pasta from The Lively will also play a role. For kids, items like pizza will be available. Lively sous chef Kevin Posada will lead the kitchen and menu development.
“Kevin is a guy who wants to do a lot with pickling and smoking sausages. Part of that is going to be geared toward creating that. But more importantly, the centerpiece is going to be a piece of equipment called a Josper grill. They make a charcoal oven. If you said, ‘what is the perfect tasting grilled meat?,’ it probably comes off a Josper. We’re going to be cooking on an open flame with large portions of meat.”
Boise’s Barber Valley, home to subdivisions like Harris Ranch, River Heights and more, has a small number of restaurant options, while the population has continued to grow over the last decade. A prior plan to relocate the Tavern at Bown Crossing to the area did not materialize, and the restaurant stayed put on Bown Way across the river.
“I think it’s a giant underserved market,” Strimple said. “When I first saw the development I went to (TOK Commercial broker) Peter Oliver and asked what it was going to be. I was like ‘this location is going to be a home run.’ There’s a lot of housing just right there in the development and right across the street.”
Strimple said he wants to be somewhere parents can take the kids but also a place where parents can have a good meal, but kids can also feel comfortable.
Currently, the Barber Station project includes a small number of businesses – none of them serving food. More are coming, including a credit union, forthcoming campus for Mission 43 and Challenged Athletes Foundation, and a future Albertsons store nearby.
Strimple is seeking design review approval from the City of Boise for the project. He said he hopes to start construction this summer and open by the spring of 2023.