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The Loft No Longer • Hometown Hootch Gets National Mag Nod

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The Loft No Longer

The Loft, the second-floor nightclub space on the corner of Idaho Street and Capitol Boulevard, is cleaning up its image--and its reputation--with a name change, a dress code and a new menu.

Now divided into two areas, the Capitol Boulevard Bar and Grill in the front and the Capitol Club to the rear, the club will undergo a bit of interior reworking with new paint and a few new pool tables, as well as what manager Chris Conein describes as a simplified menu and a music lineup heavier on Top 40 and dance hits than hip-hop.

"We're trying to get away from the image and the clientele we had," explains Conein, referring to an incident last year in which a stabbing took place in the nightclub and then later, the police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd on the corner outside. Conein says the location has had some "bad publicity" and that instituting a dress code--as other downtown nightclubs have done--is an effort to deter the "thug crowd."

The Capitol Boulevard Bar and Grill is open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Monday-Friday and from 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday-Sunday. The Capitol Club opens Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. No admittance to minors.

Capitol Boulevard Bar and Grill, 622 W. Idaho St., 208-344-5223.

Hometown Hootch Gets National Mag Nod

We'd need the fingers on at least two hands to count the number of times Boise's bar and restaurant crowd has made national news over the last year, and that's just to calculate the nods we know about.

If Boise were any less haughty, we'd solicit a hearty whoop-whoop Arsenio Hall-style as we carve another notch into the city's belt of fame, but methinks it's more appropriate to issue a heartfelt golf clap in congratulations of Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery for making Restaurant Business magazine's "Best of Everything" list in its April edition.

Named "best way to lift your spirits," Bardenay's onsite distilleries were lauded by the monthly trade magazine for a double-hitter: knocking down liquor costs and keeping customers supplied with a constantly changing specialty drink menu using homemade spirits.

Check out the news for yourself at www.restaurantbiz.com, or do a little taste testing at one of Bardenay's two locations.

601 W. Grove St., 208-426-0538; 155 E. Riverside Dr., Eagle, 208-938-5093.