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Roosevelt Market & Cafe, Anticipating Fall Reopening, Throws East Boise Launch Party


Barbara Sand ate her cookie.

"We always liked it and thought it had great potential," she said.

Sand was talking about the Roosevelt Market, which is three blocks from where she lives. On April 5, the market's new owners Pamela Lemley and Jill Simplot, and operators DK and Sarah Kelly handed out milk and Sarah's chocolate chip cookies, which Sarah said won second place at an international chocolate chip cookie competition in Colorado, at a launch party to tell the neighborhood that the Roosevelt, which shut its doors late last year, wasn't gone for good.

- Sarah Kelly (right) holds a plate of her award-winning chocolate chip cookies as she talks to Roosevelt Market & Cafe Co-owner Pamela Lemley. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Sarah Kelly (right) holds a plate of her award-winning chocolate chip cookies as she talks to Roosevelt Market & Cafe Co-owner Pamela Lemley.
"We've been following [the Kellys] from Bleubird to Petite 4 to here, and we're neighbors, so we're really happy," Sand said.

According to Lemley, she has owned the site of the Roosevelt for two years; but when the original proprietors of the neighborhood store left, she realized the structure was unstable. An apartment, added without a permit in the 1970s, had compromised the building and needed to be removed. She said she is working with a structural engineer and an architect to bring the building up to code and revamp the interior before reopening, which she said will likely take place this fall.

"Now, it's up to these two," she said, referring to the Kellys. "We're doing it for the neighborhood."

  • Harrison Berry
Attaching the Kellys to the project is a coup for the new market—they're the couple behind the popular downtown sandwich shop Bleubird, which has closed, and Petite 4 on the Boise Bench, which opened in 2018. They're also neighbors, and have lived in the East End for several years.

DK said he and Sarah were initially skeptical of operating both the market and Petite 4, but after taking a meeting with Lemley and being made "an offer we couldn't refuse," they agreed to play a role in the new market.

As part of the deal, the Kellys would receive a stipend that will help them add staff at their restaurant, giving them breathing room to work at the market three to four days a week without their boutique, French-inspired bistro getting the short end of the stick. They will also get a full staff to work the market.

"[Lemley] didn't want Petite 4 to suffer," DK said.

Under the Kelly's management, the market will be an all-day cafe that will also serve smaller items, prepared foods, sandwiches, baked goods, candy, and meat and cheese boards. Four to five nights a week, DK said, it will close as late as 9 p.m.

Sarah said being the faces of the market was a reintroduction.

"We're re-welcoming ourselves to the neighborhood, even though we already live here," she said.