Food & Drink » Food: Bar Hopper

Bar Hopper: Ampersand

Small skyline, small skyline bar


Boise has one of these? Boise's lack of an urban skyline isn't a detractor in the least, but it does mean there is a limited amount of space for literal high-end bars in town. Specifically, there's just one at the moment—Ampersand—and it won't be around in its current form for long.

Going up: One of the few buildings that makes up Boise's skyline is One Capital Center, on the corner of Ninth and Main streets. Walk inside and take the elevator all the way to the top. The 14th floor of One Capital Center seems like the abandoned top floor of any old office building, and it is—empty conference rooms, under-construction elevators and long, dimly lit hallways await, along with one small room facing the Foothills: your destination.

Small means small: Six people fill the bar. Eight makes it seem overcrowded. There are two couches and just a couple of chairs, all of which could have been plucked straight from your grandmother's house. Oil paintings on the walls make for conflicting vibes—is it a yellow-aspen-fall feel, or a Russian royal portrait feel? Either way, Ampersand is intimate.

Who's behind this? The former founders of State & Lemp have been working on their newest endeavors for a while now. Kin restaurant will open on the bottom floor of the building, and they operated Art Haus earlier, as well as a different form of Ampersand, but this is a whole different take on the bar scene. Ampersand isn't meant to be a new mainstay either—ideas for how the bar will evolve once Kin is up and running seem fluid at the moment, so do yourself a favor and enjoy it while it lasts.

What are the hours? Ampersand operates Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Where to find it: Enter the Capital One Center at 999 W. Main St. Then go up.

—Micah Drew