In a city the size of New York City, it's possible for more than a dozen businesses of the same type all housed in a two-square-block area to each be successful. There are 8 million people in the Big Apple, which is plenty of customers to go around. It doesn't seem logical that the same thing would be true in Boise, population 200,000-ish. But the 20 or so eateries--locally owned and franchised--that reside side-by-side like lovesick teenagers on two blocks of Eighth Street and nearby on adjacent Idaho and Bannock streets clearly defy logic: Thomas Hammer Coffee, Baguette Deli, Superb Sushi, Red Feather Lounge, Bittercreek Ale House, Pollo Rey, Pho Nouveau, Old Chicago, Moon's Kitchen, Piper Pub, Shige Japanese Cuisine (technically, three restaurants in one), Fork, Grape Escape, Aspen Leaf, Cazba, Matador, Dawson Taylor, Mongolian BBQ, Jamba Juice, Taj Mahal and Falcon Tavern. And just down the block are Yen Ching, Berryhill and Co. (also three restaurants in one) and The Press. Somebody is doing something right.
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