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Cheerleaders - Russian Food Festival - Piper Pub - Seasons


Movin' Down South

Apparently it's not a fabulous idea to open a restaurant in the middle of a business park that looks more like a war zone under reconstruction than a destination for dinner. Especially if you pick a building that's too far removed from the intersection of two major highways for motorists to easily see your "open" sign.

The owners of Cheerleaders Sports Bar and Grill have learned their lesson. A few regulars recently complained that they showed up at their favorite sports bar to find the doors locked. Although they remember hearing about Cheerleaders' new location, none of them realized that rather than a second location in the works, it was a replacement location. Don't make the same mistake. If—like me, thanks to the early commencement of Coldest Beer testing—you were planning to make a stop at Cheerleaders in the very near future, take heed. The Eagle River location is closed up tight and the entire place has been virtually transplanted a few miles south on Eagle Road between Ustick and McMillan.

Cheerleaders Sports Bar and Grill, 3541 N. Eagle Rd., 208-939-9209,

Rush in for Russian

Some of Boise's best ethnic food is had not in restaurants but in places of worship. The third annual Russian Food Festival this week kicks off the all-too-short season of ethnic food festivals hosted by various cultural and religious enclaves in the city. The Greek Food Festival is Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7, followed by Deli Days with all things kosher on Thursday, June 19, and Friday, June 20.

But, first things first. This year, St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church is saving the proceeds from its annual food festival to help build a Russian church and cultural center in Boise. If you've ever seen the modest white stucco building with green trim on 29th Street that the congregation calls home, you'll know it's hardly as ornate and elaborate as the more traditional domed Russian cathedrals. So the church's members have adopted a "will cook for construction" ideal, which is a win-win situation. The public gets to eat borscht, pieroshki, stuffed peppers, pelmeni, varieties of vareniki and blini and baklava. Need a side of culinary translation with that? The chefs will give you a tutorial, but be sure to order one of each to get the full lesson. (And be sure to get there early because last year they sold out.) Once your appetite is sated, take a guided tour of the church, learn a little about Russian-style worship and peruse the selection of Russian arts and crafts for sale.

May 16-17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church, 872 N. 29th St., 208-345-1553.

Maybe This Time's a Charm

My new motto is don't judge a restaurant by its recent past. Piper Pub and Grill is a Boise restaurant mainstay that's hobbled along the last few years while a series of owners have taken turns bludgeoning what was once a successful business into little more than a limping, liquor-serving burger joint. Aside from the mostly familiar atmosphere, the place is a mere shadow of what it was in its heyday when the balconies packed out on weekends and the infamous Scotch Club was in full swing.

But all the icky stuff is about to change. We hope. Bryan Roth and Gene Hutchison took over the second-floor restaurant at the end of March, and they're hoping to put things back to the way they were. The first dose of medicine included a fresh coat of paint and a remodel to enclose in the kitchen. Next on the road to recovery is upscale pub food on a more unified menu. Roth says that soon enough, live music will be up and kicking, and any day now, we can expect to see the return of the Scotch Club with a beefed up bottle selection.

Piper Pub and Grill, 150 N. 8th St., Ste. 200, 208-343-2444,

This Week's Wine and Dine

If you're a fan of local wine, here's a vintner's dinner that may pique your interest. Recently opened Season's Bistro and Wine Bar hosts Greg Koenig, winemaker and owner of Koenig Vineyards in Caldwell. Koenig has selected two of his wines, as well as two wines from the bistro's partner winery, 3 Horse Vineyard. Chef Eric Peterson provides four complementing courses: crab cakes with mango pico, spinach salad, New York steak and chocolate mousse.

May 17, $65 per person plus tax and tip. Season's Bistro and Wine Bar, 1117 E. Winding Creek Dr. Ste. 150, Eagle, 208-939-6680,