This week, visitors to the neighborhood village located on 13th Street in Boise's North End will notice that one of the area's most well-established eateries has closed. Richard's of Hyde Park, as well as conjoined sushi restaurant Taste, served their final meals at dinner Saturday, March 24, and on Sunday began a remodel that will rip out the old and bring in the new. "It's time," says Erik McLaughlin, who, along with his wife Jennifer, owns both Richard's and Taste, as well as 8th Street Wine Company. "Richard's has been around forever. It's become a specialty fine-dining restaurant that people come from all over for, but it's time for a change." And, adds McLaughlin, one of the most important changes is happening behind the scenes, as the executive chef of Richard's, Fred Moffitt, becomes McLaughlin's partner.
"If I don't make him a partner now, someone else will snap up his talent," jokes McLaughlin. "And with Fred moving forward as a partner, we wanted a clean break from the past and to move forward to create something together that was an original idea designed around our location and our neighborhood." On April 6, the space will re-open as a restaurant/lounge under the single name of Bungalow, that will serve what McLaughlin describes as "regional American cuisine."
"It's serious food that is understandable and affordable with the same commitment to quality [as Richard's and Taste], but in a less serious way and as something people can enjoy more often," explains McLaughlin. Expect to see simple choices like roasted chicken and pork chops among an extensive menu of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts from the same kitchen that, for so long, pleased the palates of Richard's patrons. And Bungalow will translate the locally produced, all-natural, from-scratch theme of its food into the interior's remodel. McLaughlin says that given the building's deep North End neighborhood location, it should reflect the "spirit, culture and charm" of the area.
"It will look and feel like a turn-of-the-century house," he says, referencing his own North End home, which was built in 1911. "Everything that goes into [Bungalow], we are conceiving of with this specific location and neighborhood in mind because it's our neighborhood and it's what Hyde Park needs: a place where people can go and feel comfortable in shorts after a hike in the foothills or on a more special occasion." Bungalow will serve dinner every night beginning Friday, April 6, weekend breakfast starts Saturday, April 7, and weekday lunch service begins Monday, April 23. Unredeemed gift cards for Taste and Richard's will be honored at Bungalow. 1520 N. 13th St., 208-331-9855, www.boisebungalow.com.
Midnight, Saturday, March 30, will be the last seating at the hip downtown eatery, Tapas Estrella. After a year and a half in business, Tapas will be closing its doors for good. Owner Andrea Maricich (who, with her husband, also owns Milky Way) said that owning a restaurant is hard work, a job that often includes "lots of risk, and little reward." Maricich invites everyone to come in and help her "clean out the pantry." 121 N. 9th St., 208-426-8400