In Boise Weekly's 2009 Bar Guide, we described the Fireside Inn as: "Big white building. No windows. Dark and smoky inside. It's the kind of place you could hide in all day, and no one would look for you." General manager Joe Dueno has a bone to pick with our portrayal.
"We have a window," he said, pointing to a small rectangle with the blinds drawn tight.
Though the State Street dive bar still has a dark, cave-like vibe, new owner Ryan Steinbroner has made some cosmetic improvements. In addition to adding an eye-catching new sign and a wooden front patio with cafe lights, he's also given the inside a facelift, which includes a giant buffalo head he found on Craigslist.
"He cleaned up a lot of walls, there used to be all kind of random stuff throughout the years put up on the walls," said Dueno. "He added TVs. We've added two, three taps. We are going to add, I think, four more taps, and we're going to rebuild the system."
Dueno said more than half of the beers offered at the Fireside are microbrews, and many of them are local.
"It's still a neighborhood bar, just more of an updated neighborhood bar," said Dueno. "You can come hang out on the patio for a couple hours if you want and have a glass of wine."
That doesn't mean Fireside regulars will have to find a new watering hole. The bar still offers a retreat for those looking to duck into a cool, dark space.
"With the patio, it gives you the option: if you want sun you can get sun," said Dueno. "But a lot of our day clientele, especially during the summer—all of the construction people that come in here—really enjoy coming inside and cooling off and having a beer."