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Old Spaghetti Factory Heads for Boise

Chain restaurant to land next to Louie's Pizza

Old Spaghetti Factory Heads for Boise

Downtown Boise is about to get another chain restaurant. The Old Spaghetti Factory has its sights set on the old Capitol Lithograph building on Idaho Street, between 6th Street and Capitol Boulevard. That would plunk a nationwide chain of Italian restaurants next to a downtown Boise fixture: Louie's Pizza and Italian Restaurant. See a problem here? If Louie's owner Chris Mallane does, he's not talking about it.

"I don't care who goes next to us," Mallane told BW. But he did take the time to write the Capital City Development Corporation telling them that he wanted no part in helping to fund a sidewalk redevelopment the group is contemplating on the block. The owners of the Capitol Lithograph building, working with the Spaghetti Factory, intend to pretty up the sidewalk, erasing four parking spaces but creating outdoor dining space. So why did Mallane want out?

"We can speculate that he's concerned about competition as a result of this tenant," CCDC project manager Mike Hall told the board. "CCDC, I don't think, is in the business of regulating competition."

To help offset the estimated $130,000 it would take to change the sidewalk, the CCDC is planning to offer a no-interest loan to the developers to the tune of $48,000, due back to CCDC when the project is complete. With prodding from Mike Dolby, representing Capitol Lithograph, the commission opted to go ahead with the loan, removing Louie's Pizza from the agreement to develop the sidewalk. Only City Councilor David Eberle voted against going forward but, he said, not because he did not support the project.

"(Old Spaghetti Factory's) design needs this," Dolby said. "Will Louie's Restaurant benefit from this? Absolutely. If this is prevention of competition, this is not the forum for that."