Reel Foods Fish Market is on the market. Ocean Beauty Seafoods, based in Seattle, bought Boise's iconic seafood market from owners Don and Linda Elder 15 years ago. In 2012, Ocean Beauty moved Reel Foods from its original location at 304 S. Americana Blvd. to its current storefront at 911 Capitol Blvd.
"That move took a fair amount of resources and cash but it was a considerably better location," said Peter Blatz, business development manager at Ocean Beauty. "Business has been good, it's been pretty steady, but it has not met the expectations of Ocean Beauty corporate."
So now, Reel Foods—which has $142,900 in total assets and pulls in $722,715 in gross sales, according to business brokerage firm Arthur Berry and Company—is on the market for $125,000.
"There's actually two interested parties looking at the store right now," said Blatz. "The idea is to keep it going as it has always been ... and basically run it under new ownership and Ocean Beauty would be the primary supplier for all their fresh fish."
Blatz said both parties are local and have expressed an interest in keeping everything "exactly the way it is," including keeping current employees onboard.
"It's tough to say exactly what will happen, but I know that I've got pretty good faith in both groups—whichever one comes out on top—that they're very enthusiastic Reel Foods fans," said Blatz. "You don't tweak something if it's working. Ever since we put the Oyster Bar in in September , our sales have been steadily climbing. Unfortunately, it was not enough of an increase in sales to satisfy the partners at Ocean Beauty. But I'm confident that the right person could get in there and really run with it."
Blatz said he hopes there will be "no interruption in service at all" and wants to see Reel Foods "continue to grow and thrive."
"I think it could have a happy ending and really the winner would be the Boise community because we'd get to keep our little fish market," he said.
In downtown opening news, Main Street Deli is now serving sandwiches, salads and grab-and-go items at 904 W. Main St. Owner Grant Rosendahl worked at San Francisco's Boulevard, winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, before relocating to Boise. He wants to appeal to the downtown business crowd with quick-service lunch fare.
"We want it to be fast. We want them to be able to come down from their office, get their meal, eat and go back up in a half hour," said Rosendahl. "We're trying to get our sandwiches down and ordering in under a five-minute window."
Rosendahl said his most popular sandwich so far has been the housemade Hot Pastrami ($8), which is served on a Gaston's Bakery ciabatta roll with Swiss cheese and horseradish cream coleslaw.
"We cook it in house and we're using the sous vide method, which is cooking it under water so it maintains a certain temperature—149 degrees for 48 hours," said Rosendahl.
Other sandwich options include the Spicy Saigon Banh-Mi Pork ($8), also cooked via sous vide and served on Gaston's whole wheat hoagie roll with a spicy cilantro cucumber slaw; and the Downtowner ($8), with turkey, bacon, avocado, provolone and a tarragon-based green goddess dressing on ciabatta.
Main Street Deli also offers a selection of house-made salads—like the Latino ($7.50) with chicken, avocado, black beans, cotija cheese and corn—along with the option to build-your-own salad or sandwich. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday until the summer months.
"It's been insane for the first week; I couldn't believe it," said Rosendahl. "I couldn't have asked for anything better."
In other downtown opening news, Capitol Cellars is now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in the former District Coffeehouse space at 110 S. Fifth St. For breakfast, the politically themed restaurant is offering DOMA coffee, served tableside in China coffee pots, along with an assortment of quiches, bagels, scones and muffins.
Lunch and dinner menus are bound in vintage books and separated into First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading categories, with Idaho political history tidbits printed in the margins. First Reading options include a Charcuterie Tasting ($19), with house-cured Loukaniko lamb sausage, Kurobuta salami and pork belly rillettes; and Gracie's Goat Cheese Pouch ($13) with pistachio-crusted goat cheese, port-soaked cherries, balsamic syrup, figs, chives and truffle oil. Second Reading courses include Kauffman Farms barley soup ($5/$8) and the C. Ben Ross Romaine Salad ($7) with romaine hearts, green goddess dressing, balsamic reduction, goat cheese and tomato. Third Reading offerings include the Press Corp Chicken ($19.43) with pan roasted chicken breast, green pea puree, potato-prosciutto croquettes and sauteed wild mushrooms; and The Senator's Prime Rib ($29, 12 oz.; $34.43, 16 oz.) served with an Idaho baked potato, warm horseradish sauce and au jus.
The wine list boasts a handful of by-the-glass options, along with a selection of 35 wines under $35 that pay tribute to Idaho's 35 State Senate members.
Capitol Cellars is open Monday-Saturday and closed on Sunday. The restaurant opens for breakfast at 7 a.m., serves lunch from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and offers a paired-down "Recess" menu from 2-5:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5:30-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.