Food & Drink » Food

A Montana Brewery is Coming to Town

Plus Woodland Empire's Anniversary and Luciano's planned expansion along the Boise River


Birthday wishes—and a few toasts—are in order for Woodland Empire Ale Craft, which is celebrating three years of craft beer goodness with an anniversary bash Saturday, Jan. 14.

The beer will flow from 2-10 p.m. featuring the release of So Juicy: Peach Apricot IPA and Woodland Pilsner, both of which will be available year round, as well as the Ada County Stout—a monster 15 percent ABV imperial stout with coffee and cacao nibs that has been gathering its strength in whiskey barrels for the past year. Woodland Empire will also be pouring an English style ale brewed with molasses and an oak aged sour blend.

Come for the brews, stay for the games and special menu from Manfred's Catering. The event is 21+, so leaves those kids at home.

Speaking of breweries, White Dog Brewing Company, which is headquartered in Bozeman, Mont., is deep in demolition work at the former Grind and PostModern Brewers space on Fulton Street.

The location at 705 W. Fulton St. was long home to Tablerock BrewPub and Grill, which closed in May 2014, ending its almost 25-year reign as Boise's preeminent brewery. Grind and PostModern took over following Tablerock's closure, but shut their doors in February 2016.

White Dog, which inherits the former Tablerock/PostModern 15-barrel system, is a young operation—its flagship Montana brewery only opened in 2015—but its Fulton Street location will bump its capacity by 2,500 barrels per year.

As with its Bozeman space, the Boise brewery will feature a "frost rail"—a strip of chilled metal that runs the length of bar where drinkers can park their glasses and keep them cold while they cool their heels.

According to brewery co-owner Dan Jordan, some former TableRock offerings may be resurrected, but White Dog won't be a full-service brewpub. That said, plans are for a food truck to be parked permanently on the premises.

Expect to start fetching yourself White Dog beers in the City of Trees as soon as this spring.

Speaking of expansions, longtime Bench standby—and winner of Best Local Italian in the 2015 and 2016 Best of Boise—Luciano's Italian Restaurant is staking a claim on the banks of the Boise River with Caffe Luciano.

Set to open its doors in the spring, Caffe Luciano will be located on prime real estate at Adams Street and Prospect Way in Garden City, a stone's throw from the bridge that spans the Boise River to the Esther Simplot Park and Quinn's Pond.

The new Italian spot adds to the string of eateries and drinkeries already along the Garden City riverfront, including Joe's Crab Shack, Telaya Winery and The Sandbar—the latter which also underwent some expansion of its own in recent months with the remodel of 554 square feet into another patio bar and grill. Work on the space was ongoing through the fall and the seasonal riverside live music venue and greenbelt-accessible gathering place will open bigger and better when it starts welcoming guests again in May.

Speaking of New Year's renovations, Chandlers Steakhouse is ushering in 2017 with a "major refresh."

According to a filing with the city, Chandlers is enlarging its dining area more than 160 square feet by incorporating part of what was once elevated patio seating, as well as renovating its 25-year-old kitchen.

If you've been jonesing for a steak and one of Chandlers' renowned martinis, don't worry—the award-winning steakhouse is on track to reopen with its new and improved layout in February.

Speaking of "new," now that Acquired Again Antiques is history, North Enders and frequenters to Hyde Park can look forward to an additional place to sip on suds or enjoy a splash of a wine.

According to documents filed with the city, owner Scott McCoy and Cole Architects have applied to make some changes to the space at 1304 W. Alturas to make way for "wine and beer tavern" Camel's Crossing.

The application asks for permission to remove the exterior stairs, landing and handrail at the building adjacent to Hyde Park Pub and Grill, as well as reduce the size of the entry to make way for outdoor seating.

The project won't get underway until its conditional use permit is approved by the city, which will consider the application at a hearing Monday, Feb. 13 before the Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission.

Finally, in a case of "what was old is new again," longtime, well known local chef Richard Langston opened his namesake restaurant Richard's at the Inn at 500 Capitol on Jan. 9. Langston had planned for a Jan. 2 grand opening, but was delayed due to construction and bad weather.