For almost two decades, Lucky 13 and Hyde Park have gone together like peas and carrots. In fact, it's not far from the truth to say that Hyde Park owes a good deal of its current hipness to Lucky 13's reputation as the gathering place for every North Ender with a bike, a kid, a dog or just a healthy thirst for a cold beer. But as of August 29, Lucky 13 departs from Hyde Park to relocate in Harris Ranch.
The restaurant's closure and subsequent relocation is the end of a saga that started almost two years ago with the opening of The Garage. Its resolution appears to bode well for everyone involved.
The Garage, a bar opened in 2005 by Lucky 13's proprietor Liza Goul in the garage area adjacent to Lucky 13, operated for nearly a year without incident until a city citation for building code violations forced the bar's closing. When Boise Weekly spoke with Goul in August last year, she quelled rumors that were then circulating that the pizza joint would close by month's end. However, she added that due to lease renegotiation disagreements with building owner Mary Lou Martin-Gentles, Lucky 13's long-term fate could mean the local icon would move out of Hyde Park.
A year later, that's exactly what has happened. With the disagreements between Martin-Gentles and Goul proving insurmountable and Goul's lease ending August 31, Lucky 13 closes up shop on Wednesday, giving the staff two days to move everything (including the actual bar that was once in The Garage) to the new Harris Ranch location, a property owned by Goul.
"The building of Lucky 13 and the property will be mine," explains Goul. "It's what I've really always wanted, to own the property [Lucky 13] is in."
Goul took over Lucky 13 from the Martin family while she was still in her early 20s and living out of her parents' basement on Bogus Basin Road. But she doesn't dwell on the events that precipitated the move; she's focused on the future,
"It is emotional for me to move out of Hyde Park," she says. "It's where I grew up and this is a change, but it really is a positive thing."
As for how Lucky 13 will fare in its new location without what has become Hyde Park's constant crowds, Goul is optimistic.
"When I started in Hyde Park, it was pretty lean. You could tell it was going to grow up, and it's that same feel out here," says Goul. "Everyone here is really excited about the fact that they can walk over and have a glass of wine and walk back home. Also, everything was approved by the city and the village and the bridge will be built."
Goul is so optimistic about Harris Ranch eventually growing into what Hyde Park is that she recently opened a second restaurant in the building next to the new Lucky 13, a panini and wine bar called Fortunato.
"The back patio of Fortunato is on the Greenbelt," says Goul. "And the new Lucky 13 is a lot like the old one. There are two garage doors separating The Garage from the Lucky 13 side, it has the same wraparound patio and the same orientation as the one in Hyde Park. Obviously you can't re-create Hyde Park, but it will be positive in Harris Ranch."
As for the former Lucky 13 site on the corner of Eastman and 13th streets, the Martin family will resume operations.
Martin-Gentles' son Dave Martin, who ran Lucky 13 before Goul took control 18 years ago, is moving back to Idaho after a near 20-year absence to run what will be renamed the Sun Ray Cafe. Martin has plans to remodel the building to bring it up to code, although he doesn't expect the back garage area to re-open as a bar.
"I can't get into the building until the lease is up at the end of the month," explains Martin. "At that time, I'll assess the damage and see what has to happen in order to get up and running."
Martin says he doesn't plan to change much about the menu, which will focus on pizza, sandwiches and salads. In his opinion, that's what the North End needs and wants. In the long-term, Martin says he'd like to add a full kitchen, so he can upscale the menu. In the short term, he's just happy to be back in Idaho.
"Liza has done wonderful at Lucky 13 and she's a good operator," says Martin. "I was amazed she chose not to renew her lease, and I'd be stupid not to come back. Lucky 13 is a good place. Besides, I love the North End."
Lucky 13 hosts a final night of revelry in Hyde Park Wed., Aug. 29., with music from Farmdog from 7-10 p.m.