Russell Dawe always loved Angell's Bar and Grill. It was his hangout when he first lived in Boise in the 1980s.
When he returned to Idaho after 20 years in Seattle, he was shocked to find it closed.
"I loved that place and the people who worked there," Dawe says. "I decided I would bring it back."
Owners Bob and Mickey Angell closed the bistro and bar in January after a buyer couldn't be found for the 32-year-old establishment.
Then along came Dawe.
His idea: Angell's Bar and Grill - Renato. "Rinato" means "reborn" in Italian.
It will have the same spirit of the Angell's that Dawe fell in love with, he says, but with an updated interior and kitchen, a menu of lighter and affordable fare, and a more open feel in its look and service style.
This is Dawe's first restaurant venture, and he knows he'll need support. He's hired chef David Shipley away from Brick 29 to handle the kitchen, and he's brought back many of Bob Angell's stalwart employees including business manager Ines Holt and bar manager Pam Tuttle. He's also bringing in his daughter Denise, who has experience in the restaurant business to help manage the front of the house.
"It will be a family-run business," he says.
He plans to open the interior to the patio with garage-style doors and use the location's natural amphitheater as a performance venue for live music in good weather.
Angell's Renato will offer picnic service on the lawn, and run a small fleet of bicycle taxis to transport customers from Angell's to other Downtown spots.
Work continued on the building this week. Expect a soft opening soon and a grand opening on July 9, in time for the Twilight Criterium bicycle race on July 13.
Help build the menu: Go to Facebook.com/AngellsBarAndGrill and vote for your favorite classic Angell's dishes to add to the menu.
Angell's Renato is at 999 W. Main St., Boise. Phone: 342-4900. Online: AngellsBarAndGrill.com.
WOODRIVER CELLARS EXPANDS
The winery and event center Woodriver Cellars is putting in a completely new kitchen, expanding its dining area and catering services, and in August plans to open a restaurant, says winemaker and manager Neil Glancy.
Besides the new kitchen, owners Ron and Laurie Beckman purchased 100 new French oak barrels for Glancy's award-winning wine program.
Woodriver Cellars, 3705 Highway 16, in Eagle, is first a winery. Glancy makes a variety of reds, whites and sparkling wines that are now available at Costco, some Albertsons and Fred Meyer stores and is being poured at a several Treasure Valley restaurants, including the Cottonwood Grille, The Ram in Meridian and Flatbread Community Oven.
As an event center, Woodriver's grounds are a popular place for weddings, celebrations and concerts. You'll find the Boise Philharmonic's "Picnic at the Pops" there in August.
Chef Mike Owen is fine-tuning the menu that's a mix of his culinary influences that includes his years at Aladdin's, Goldy's and the Original Pancake House when it was in Eagle.
The restaurant will open with brunch Fridays-Sundays in early August.
You can find more information on the winery and the concert line up at WoodriverCellars.com.
LAST WEEKEND FOR GRAPE ESCAPE
One of Downtown's most iconic businesses - The Grape Escape, 800 W. Idaho St., - will close at the end of business June 30. Owner Pug Ostling decide to close after an investor who was going to fund a remodel pulled out earlier this month.
The Escape will be open from 11:30 a.m. to close June 29-30. On Sunday it's Grape Jam and Eggs with jazz guitarist Ben Burdick and special guests.
CLOUD 9 UPDATE
The newest brewery on the block, Cloud 9, will open in the former Moxie Java at 1750 W. State St., in Boise. This is a nanobrewery - an even smaller concept than microbrewery - but bigger than home brewing.
Its Kickstarter campaign raised more than its goal of $30,000 for six four-barrel fermenters. Cloud 9 will make four barrels of each brew, such as Northwest Red Ale, Blood Orange Wit and special editions, such as Huckleberry Stout.
Owners Jake and Maggie Lake will sell pints and fill growlers onsite. It also will serve a locally focused menu of not-so-typical pub fare, such as seared ahi BLT and American kobe burgers.
Look for it to open in November.
CROOKED FENCE OPENS
After a brief delay earlier in the month, Crooked Fence Barrelhouse, Garden City's new brewpub, opened June 21.
Located at 5181 Glenwood St. near the Revolution Center, the all-ages eatery includes beer made on site and down Chinden Boulevard at Crooked Fence Brewery.
Hours at the 7,000-square-foot pub are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays, 11 a.m to midnight Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Brunch begins this weekend, which is why the Barrelhouse opens earlier on Saturday and Sunday.
Submit restaurant news to email@example.com at least one week prior to publication. Michael Deeds contributed the final brief in this article.