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Louie's - Mrs. Fields Cookie Contest

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Louie's Has Left the Building

After 18 years in Boise, the downtown location of Louie's Pizza and Italian Restaurant closed its doors for the last time Sunday night. Monday, general manager Lou Mallane, son of owner and founder Louie Mallane, announced the restaurant's permanent closing effective immediately, citing the building's impending sale as the reason for the eatery's sudden closure.

"We had a lot of interest in the building," says Mallane, explaining that the property is currently in escrow. "And we are coming up on our closing date [for the building's sale] and it's come down to the point where we had to choose a date to close."

While confidentiality agreements prevented him from commenting on who might be the buyer, Mallane says it's likely the space will accommodate a restaurant after the building's sale. "I would expect it to stay a restaurant just because of impact and connection fees in the city," says Mallane. Such fees are assessed upon new development and paid by businesses wishing to hook into the existing utility system.

Since last year's announcement that Portland-based chain restaurant Old Spaghetti Factory would establish a downtown location in the building next to Louie's, there's been much speculation about how the locally owned restaurant would fare with close-quarters competition.

In June 2006, then-manager Chris Mallane BW that he didn't care what kind of business went into the vacant Capitol Lithograph Building. He sang the same tune in a second brief interview with BW in August 2006. Since March of this year, rumors have surfaced that Louie's was in negotiation with various parties—including Old Spaghetti Factory—to sell the building.

Monday, however, Lou Mallane was adamant that the downtown location of Louie's did not perish at the hands of corporate competition. "We expect that people will say that," says Mallane. "But, fortunately, that's not the case. In the last few years, almost every building on that side of the street has changed hands and it's just running a new course. But this change [for Louie's] is about a future change."

Employees were also given short notice about the restaurant's closing, but Mallane stresses that the restaurant would absorb many of them into the remaining Meridian location of Louie's.

"For now, we're going to focus on the Meridian location, and eventually, we'd like to open up a few more restaurants," says Mallane.

Idahoan seeks cookie cup

Aside from being an official BW beer tester for the annual Boise's Coldest Beer Contest (a dubious honor that this writer has held for five out of the six years the contest has been running), being an official taste-tester in the 30th anniversary cookie contest held by Mrs. Fields Cookies could be counted among the coolest jobs that require sating a calorie-laden craving. Too bad this writer never got the nod from Mrs. Fields to offer up an opinion.

One Idaho native did, however, garner a little attention for the Gem State when her contest entry made it through the pile of 700 recipes to make the final cut of 30 finalists. Trisha Kruse of Eagle, submitted her Mexico-inspired Cozumel Chocolate Cookies spiced up with cinnamon, chili powder and pine nuts, and is now baking it out for bragging rights, a trip to New York City and new appliances from GE Profile.

Cookie monsters nationwide are encouraged to visit http://mrsfields.ivillage.com to vote for their favorite recipe, and while BW is applauding Kruse, we're a little disappointed with the lack of tastebud involvement in the choosing of a winner. We propose the Towne Square location could bake a batch of each of the 30 finalists so that our mouths, and not our Internet skills, could be the judge. Good luck, Trisha. Our clappers are making noise for you,

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