When Rick and Suzy Sullivan pondered opening their own pub, they envisioned a laid-back destination. A spot where you could sip a local craft beer. Enjoy a burger or sandwich. Maybe recognize the person at the table next to you.
Two weeks after opening Fort Street Station, it seems to be working.
“We have regulars that we know by name already,” Rick says. “And we holler at them.”
The public house opened fairly quietly June 24 in the former Richard’s Cafe Vicino spot at 808 W. Fort St. in Boise’s North End. On Saturday, the finalized menu will launch with a variety of food, including burgers, sandwiches, flatbread, salads and more.
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Big sellers so far: Fish ‘n’ chips ($11, beer-battered cod served with fries, horsey slaw and house-made tartar sauce) and chicken chardonnay ($14, seasoned, lightly breaded chicken breast topped with mushroom and cream chardonnay sauce, served over risotto or fettuccine).
“We’re making everything from scratch here in our kitchen with the exception of a couple of items,” Suzy says. “So that is popular with people. Things taste fresh, they taste good.”
Behind the bar, Fort Street Station offers a rotating selection from 16 taps — 14 for beer, two for cider. Wine is sold by the bottle or glass. The pub also has a liquor license and full bar, meaning you can order a Moscow Mule ($7) or light, summery Aperol Spritz ($8).
That said, Fort Street Station definitely is not a lounge (unlike the similarly named 10th Street Station less than a mile away in the Idanha Hotel). Whether you’re imbibing at the bar, eating in the more dining-oriented space or sitting under a mister on the patio, things shut down at 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Ultimately, because we have kids,” Rick says, “we wanted to have a place that our kids could come and families could come. We didn’t want to deal with a late-night, just drinking establishment.”
Most customers are traveling from within a six-block radius, they estimate. Many first spotted the place while shopping at the Boise Co-op across the parking lot. The majority are seeking beers, dinner or both. Busy time is 4 to 8 p.m., but a lunch crowd has begun developing from Downtown, too — a nice surprise. Eventually, the Sullivans would like to add weekend brunch. Breakfast might even grace the menu someday down the road
The staff is happy to make reasonable dietary adjustments to menu items, Rick adds. “We want to be a place that people are comfortable to come to and say, ‘Can you do this?’ If we can do it, we’ll try to accommodate.”
Eager customers have provided plenty of feedback already, Suzy says. Most North Enders just seem grateful to have another dining and drinking spot where Richard’s used to be.
“People are excited,” she says. “They say, ‘We were really hoping something like this would go in.’ ”
▪ Fort Street Station, 808 W. Fort St., is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone: (208) 323-1891. Online: fortstreetstation.com, Facebook.
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