It's not uncommon to see downtowners on their tip-toes, straining to peer through gaps in the Wild 101 posters plastering the front windows at 1010 W. Main St. in Boise, former home to the Blues Bouquet. After a much-hyped Halloween grand opening that didn't happen, the building's new tenant, The Ice Bouquet, has kept chillingly quiet.
On a recent weekday afternoon, faint construction sounds slipped out the space's main doors. Building owner Tyson Twilegar stepped over plastic sheeting and around golden yellow trim, pointing to various new additions to the space.
"There was a ceiling that was here ... that was 3 feet below this existing ceiling that we took down," explained Twilegar, pointing above his head to intricate detailing from the building's former life as a movie theater. "And we're rebuilding this awesome crown molding. It's taken us a while to figure out how to replicate it."
Ice Entertainment Group is leasing the building from Twilegar and turning it into a nightclub and live music venue. Nathan Gorringe, a long time manager at Rockies Diner, will manage day-to-day operations of The Ice Bouquet.
"We've been out and looking for over 10 years for a bar. It's always been a goal of ours to have one, but it had to be perfect it had to be the right atmosphere. It had to have some meaning to it," said Gorringe. "Everybody and their dog thinks they can go open a restaurant or open a bar and make a lot of money and that's why they're shutting down all over the place."
Gorringe credited construction delays for The Ice Bouquet's stalled opening.
"Basically construction is what really hit us on the Halloween opening. ... There was some damage and water damage from previous tenants and stuff that was obviously from lack of maintenance and different things," said Gorringe. "We went in there, and that's when we popped one of those ceiling tiles and found that molding up there."
Ice Entertainment Group is also working to polish up the Bouquet's antique main bar.
"That bar was made in 1902 and shipped over here--that's going to be the focal point," said Gorringe. "This really is going to be almost like a picture frame."
In addition to the original main bar, there will also be a new V-shaped bar that will divide a front area filled with flatscreen TVs, a complimentary catered buffet and a "young corporate" feel from another bar closer to the live music. An elevated, horseshoe-shaped VIP area will be situated in the back of the space near the stage.
"I really like what they've done with this design because you get this bar that you can watch TV in, and on this side, you can still engage the music," said Twilegar. "A far different program will be going on here than what was before; this [front] area wasn't used properly. I'm hoping that this will do a lot for the day traffic."
Twilegar said that he will continue booking live music at The Ice Bouquet, including "Americana, jazz, rock 'n' roll, country and a lot of singer-songwriter stuff."
Gorringe added that Sunday nights will be dedicated to local live music, while Wednesdays will be a ladies night dubbed "Diamonds and Ice," and Fridays will be "Old School Friday" with Wild 101.
"Before missing the first date, our first concerts, we had JoJo that was going to be booked in there, we had Baby Bash that was going to be booked in there, we had Xzibit that was going to be booked just on a guest celebrity type-thing," said Gorringe. "And that's going to be kind of that feel we're going to have all the time."
Though The Ice Bouquet received some initial criticism after announcing via Facebook that there would be a dress code, Gorringe confirmed that there will not be one.
"When you go down to Barbacoa, you know to dress nice. It's kind of one of those things; it's not like there's a dress code--there isn't going to be a dress code and that was kind of one of the misconceptions that was thrown out there in the very beginning," he said.
Gorringe emphasized that the Ice Bouquet is striving to keep things classy.
"This is going to be something where it doesn't matter what part of the bar you're in, it doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter what group you come with. From the moment you step foot outside and walk through that double front door, you're going to feel first-class," said Gorringe.
Gorringe confirmed that the Ice Bouquet hopes to be open by New Year's Eve, though that might end up being a soft opening or a private party.
"We will do the grand opening right, and that's where we're at now," said Gorringe. "It's not just going to be something where we throw the door open and say, 'OK, let's go.' ... Everything's going to have to be perfect: the staff's going to have to be trained perfect, every little inch and every little detail is going to have to be perfect before we say, 'OK, we're ready to go.'"
Back-lit by the building's large front windows, natural light flooding in through the gaps in the Wild 101 posters, Twilegar emphasized that he just hopes the new tenants respect the storied history of the building.
"This place is like a church; it's too big to personalize, in my opinion," Twilegar said. "I'm just a custodian of this place. There's going to be a lot of people that come in after me to take care of this place, and I think it deserves that reverence; I think it deserves that respect."[ Video is no longer available. ]