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Certified. Wylder. Wyld Child. Rex’s plan to go big with ‘really special’ next Downtown restaurant

The team behind Certified Bakery & The Wylder continues to branch out.

Yesterday, we told you about Wyld Child, which is set to open next month on the Boise Bench.

But there’s another project in the pipeline for the Wylder Hospitality Group – and owners Lizzy and David Rex.

“We’re so excited about this space… there’s a lot of cool spaces in Boise. This one is going to be really special.”

That’s David Rex’s take on their next project due next year. While the name isn’t set in stone, for now building permits call it Percy Restaurant – which, Rex says, is short for perseverance. It will go into a large space in the Heart apartment building in Downtown Boise, just a few blocks from their pizza concept, The Wylder. And speaking of The Wylder:

Big kitchen, big space

“This kitchen is actually the size of the entire Wylder. We’re really excited to get in there and to cook and see what we can do out of that kitchen because we have a ton of equipment,” Rex said. “This is 5300 square feet, so it’s twice the size of the Wylder.”

That huge space – outfitted with all booth seating, an expansive patio along 4th St., and a large bar – will give them significant room for a new concept.

“It’s going to be polished American cuisine. There’s going to be a wood fire and a rotisserie.  We have a menu written now – but it will change. We’re looking at really great salads and vegetables. It will probably be 150 seats.”

While that menu is still in flux and won’t come together for a bit, Rex says he’s excited about the design process, and hopes to bring something unique to the Boise restaurant scene.

“We hired the Post Company out of Brooklyn and Jackson Hole,” he said. “It’s got similar bones to the Wylder, with 17-foot high ceilings. We’ll do one big restaurant where you can see all the way to back.  The windows actually open, there will be a patio and a lot of wood, and it just feels really good to me.”

They hope to create something that works at a few different speeds.

“The idea is… if you want it to be a special occasion you should go there. But if you go to Bogus and you are in ski clothes – you should go there.”

Rex said something he admits is a little funny for someone who operates restaurants. He often doesn’t like going to restaurants.

“I have a hard time going out to dinner because I don’t want to be trapped in a restaurant. I want to go in and leave in 55 minutes if that’s what I want to do,” he said, noting that waiting for all the little parts of the dining experience can stretch it out.

“If you want to come in (to the new Hearth restaurant) and leave in 55 minutes – and you want to eat a wood-fired short rib, you can. But if you want to stay for an hour and a half and have a bottle of wine and you have a babysitter, and you want to go out – great… you can do that too.”

Growing fast

The team opened their first restaurant – The Wylder – in 2018. Then Certified in 2019. They took over the Roosevelt Market earlier this year. Then Wyld Child in September. And Percy in 2023. All sandwiched around a pandemic that changed the dining business in many ways. With an average of one new spot each, year, they’ve grown quickly.

“The reason we are expanding like this is because…” he said, trailing off and pausing for a moment. “Lizzy and I could have had Certified and Wylder and stopped and be done. Live within our means… ride into the sunset, and raise our children. But the reality is… We have all these people who want to develop their careers, and we don’t want them to stop at one restaurant. We want to create a COO position and a director of marketing position. It’s way more rewarding than opening five Wylders. We have people who are so talented – way more talented than I am… we want to give them room to grow.”

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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].

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