New restaurateurs bet big on Boise fine dining

adutton@idahostatesman.comSeptember 11, 2013 

State&Lemp, restaurant, boise, state street

Jay Henry, center, and Remi McManus, left, work on renovating the home of their new restaurant. They hope for an Oct. 1 opening. The space was most recently occupied by the Pacific Rim Wine Shop. Remi said he remembers when the building was a Taco John’s in 1985.

JOE JASZEWSKI — jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

  • State & Lemp

    Address: 2870 W. State St., Boise

    Phone: 429-6735

    Website: www.stateandlemp.com

    Social media: facebook.com/stateandlemp or @stateandlemp on Twitter and Instagram

    Hours: 5:30 p.m. to close, Wednesday to Saturday

    Type of business: LLC

    Startup costs: $100,000, includes build-out, equipment, decor and training

    Projected first-year revenue: $550,000

    Expect a profit: Second year

Remi McManus and Jay Henry, both of Boise, have poured their time, sweat and money into a building they’ve leased on State Street — one formerly occupied by a grab-and-go food-and-wine shop.

They spent the past four years holding private dining events under the name Off The Grid. That experience “convinced us that a market exists in Boise that is craving a unique dining experience,” Henry says.

Today, they’re elbow-deep in paint, tearing up layers of flooring, hauling landscape plants and boldly going into a spidery crawlspace to prepare the building that will be known as State & Lemp restaurant.

State & Lemp will offer a $75-per-person prix fixe menu that changes biweekly. Diners will have the option to add wine, beer or nonalcoholic beverages to their meal, with wine or nonalcoholic pairings for $30 per person. There will be some by-the-glass options.

The restaurant’s menu and atmosphere will emphasize the local and seasonal. It will serve food from local farmers and ranchers to build a menu of “thoughtful, creative dishes which showcase the highest quality products from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest,” the owners say. They also plan to pull wine and beer from local and regional makers.

State & Lemp will have six to eight employees. A few jobs will be filled by people who want a career in the restaurant industry, and the business will offer those workers profit-sharing opportunities. The others will earn industry-standard wages, McManus and Henry say.

Henry has 20 years of experience in restaurants. McManus says he “spent most of my professional life in two industries, cycling and restaurant, both of which I love.”

He adds: “I spent roughly 10 years asa professional cyclist and the last three years as an owner of the now-defunct professional cycling team, Team Exergy.”

Q: What makes your business unique and sets it apart from your competition?

A: Our ever-changing seasonal menu and creative table design. Not to mention our personalities, abilities and drive to impress the clientele.

Q: What challenges have you faced, and how have you met them?

A: We have taken on many challenges during our “build-out” but nothing a little ingenuity, hard work and determination can’t overcome.

Q: What do you hope to achieve in the next three to five years?

A: We hope to build a restaurant and help to build a restaurant community Boise can be proud of.

Other than that, we have many lofty goals and hope to work with charities, nonprofit organizations and kids in fundraising efforts and education.

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Audrey Dutton: 377-6448

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