Hey, Westside Story fans, it's time to disengage your snappin' fingers and tuck away your pocket combs. The turf war is over, and the Westside has won. The Westside Drive-in, that is.
Chef Lou Aaron's long-running vintage burger shack at 1939 W. State St. has now taken over the Eastside, opening a second location at 1113 Parkcenter Blvd. The much larger establishment features ample indoor and outdoor patio seating, as well as a drive-thru, and officially opened its doors on Valentine's Day.
The Eastside-Westside is now serving up the same selection of burgers, shakes and tots that North End denizens have grown to love over the last half century. On Aaron's website, cheflou.com, he implores customers to:
"Stop by for that same Westside food, feel and service you've come to know for the last 55 years!"
Speaking of Eastside takeovers, small Winnemucca, Nev.-based breakfast chain The Griddle is bringing its batter and spoons to the former Focaccia's location at 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd. The family owned business has two other Treasure Valley locations--one in Meridian and one in Eagle--and is known for its hot cakes and the oh-so-decadent croissant French toast. According to executive chef Martin Oshiro, construction has already begun on the restaurant, which is slated to open in late spring. Chef Bill Green's breakfast nacho haven, Focaccia's, closed up shop in mid-December due to an "intense battle for his wife's health."
And for more on the pancake beat, The Original Pancake House opened on Feb. 6 at 5900 W. Fairview Ave. The franchise has more than 100 locations across the country and is known for its exacting flapjack recipe, which includes "93 score butter, fresh Grade AA eggs, hardwheat unbleached flour and our sourdough yeast ... made in our own kitchen from a culture of potatoes, flour, sugar and activated by a 'start of yeast.'"
The Original Pancake House is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, call 208-321-2614 or visit originalpancakehouse.com.
Moving from pancakes to pearls, Willowcreek Grill at 1065 Winding Creek Road in Eagle debuted a fresh oyster and wine bar in late December 2011. The bar is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. and hosts a variety of wine and champagne tastings. The menu features Penn Cove oysters shucked to order, along with antipasto platters, peel-and-eat shrimp, wines, cocktails and microbrews.
And speaking of microbrews, Salt Lake City's boutique brewery, Epic, is prepping to roll into Boise for the Epic Bown Crossing Tap Takeover on Saturday, March 31, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
The event will feature 24 different Epic brews--like the Utah Sage Saison, the Smoked and Oaked and the Big Bad Baptist--pouring from taps at five Bown Crossing businesses: Bier:Thirty, Locavore, Boise Fry Co., Tavern at Bown Crossing and Flatbread Community Oven. For $25, you'll you get a glass and 24 3-ounce samples. Tickets are available at any of the participating Bown restaurants.
And in less epic news, locally owned downtown business The Fixx Coffeehouse officially closed its doors on Feb. 17. Known for its spacious upstairs loft at the corner of 10th and Bannock streets, the fair trade/organic coffeeshop closed due to complications the owner suffered in a car accident in June 2011. On its Facebook page, The Fixx left its customers with the following words of caution:
"In a single generation, we have been taught to only trust and purchase from big box stores. Please continue supporting small businesses, without them, we are all destined to fail."
And speaking of big-box failures, table-doodling Italian chain Romano's Macaroni Grill recently shut down its location at 980 N. Milwaukee St. by the Boise Towne Square Mall.