The Lift 2 Bar & Grill, 1010 S. La Pointe St., officially became The Shed on Jan. 12, less than a year after it debuted in the burgeoning Lusk District near Boise State University.
Jason Kovac, who also owns the Whiskey Bar, Silly Birch and Tom Grainey’s, recently sold the rights to The Lift, 4091 W. State St., the flagship bar and grill that he’s owned for 11 years. He decided to convert The Lift 2 into an entirely different establishment, leaving The Lift concept to someone else.
Kovac has put a new sign out front and rebooted with a new menu. He will be doing the rest of the renovations in the coming months, after the weather gets better. When the renovation is complete later this spring, The Shed will have lots of brown tones and wood details, inside and out. But don’t expect it to have the simple aesthetic of a garden shed. The gastropub will boast an amalgam of modern and rustic accents.
“It’s kind of going to look like the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland,” Kovac says.
While The Shed is in close proximity to the university — across Capitol Boulevard near Ann Morrison Park — Kovac considers it to be more than just a college hangout. But he’s fully aware of all the student housing that’s popped up in the district in recent years.
“There are power outlets in every booth so people can plug in their laptops,” Kovac says.
He’s also added some less-expensive beers to the draft brew lineup. College students like good deals on beer.
“It’s affordable for students and everyone else,” he says.
The Shed also has a full-service bar.
As for the food, Kovac and his longtime chef Joel Thomas have come up with a reinvented menu.
“After 11 years, it was time to get away from fish tacos and other stuff like that,” he says.
The appetizer portion of the menu draws influences from various parts of the globe. Starters include pancetta macaroni and cheese ($9.50), shrimp and avocado cocktail ($9.50), and house-brined pork tenderloin and seeds ($7) with hot mustard and blueberry ketchup. Or you can soak up all that beer with traditional wings ($9.50) and house-made Corn Dawgs ($4.75 each/beef or turkey).
Diners can also get a new array of salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers. Dig into a Grateful Shed burger ($10.50), a third-pound, hand-formed patty on a shiny-top brioche bun with bacon jam, sautéed mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles and onion rings.
Entrées keep comfort food in mind with dishes such as turkey meatloaf ($10.50/served open-faced on toasted sourdough with mashed spuds and mushroom gravy) and grilled salmon striped with bright peach-mango salsa ($12.50).
The Shed is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. For now, happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. every day.
For updates and such, visit facebook.com /theshed.
Grab lunch at Renaissance Café
Check out what the student chefs are doing these days at the culinary arts program at Meridian’s Renaissance Culinary Center, 1303 E. Central Drive, part of the West Ada School District’s technical training program for high school seniors.
Renaissance Café is the student-run restaurant where you can try a regionally based menu that gets constantly changed by the students from November through May when school is in session. Keep in mind, though, that the restaurant has limited hours. It takes orders for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to noon about two to three weeks a month. To see the dates of service, go to westada.org/page/22599.
The always-changing menus boast themes, including Breakfast at Lunch and Comfort Foods, and you can expect to find seasonal sandwiches, soups, salads and entrées for $1.95 to $5.95.
The student chefs at the nationally recognized and certified program are trained by longtime lead instructor Vern Hickman, who formerly taught at Boise State University’s culinary arts program for more than 20 years.
Renaissance Café can be accessed through the Renaissance Training Center doors on the east side of the building, located off Locust Grove Road. There’s plenty of free parking out front.
Dining at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel
The Limelight Hotel recently opened in downtown Ketchum. The luxurious boutique hotel, at 151 S. Main St., is strikingly similar to its sister property in Aspen, Colo.
The hotel, with 93 guest rooms and six large suites, is conveniently located about a half mile from Sun Valley Resort’s express gondola at the River Run ski lift area at the base of Bald Mountain. Hotel amenities include a year-round outdoor pool and hot tub, a game room in the lounge and plenty of dining options.
Hotel guests get treated to a continental breakfast spread every morning from 7 to 10 a.m. You can carbo-load before hitting the slopes with an elaborate buffet packed with freshly baked pastries, pancakes, fruit, yogurt and granola, breakfast meats, veggie frittatas, French toast and more.
The hotel offers an après happy hour that’s open to the general public every day from 3 to 7 p.m. Warm up in the spacious lounge area after carving through fresh powder all day with $10 pizzas and deals on draft brews, cocktails and wines by the glass.
A dinner menu is offered in the modern-looking dining room from 4 to 10 p.m. nightly. The Italian-inspired menu ($7-$17) changes with the season and features small plates, soups, salads, entrées and assorted hand-tossed pizzas.
To make hotel reservations, go to limelighthotels.com/ ketchum or call (855) 441-2257.
Take a cooking class on Chinese New Year
Interested in learning how to cook Chinese food on Chinese New Year? After all, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.
Well, you’re in luck. Sur La Table, 3540 E. Longwing Lane at The Village at Meridian, is offering “Date Night: Celebrating Chinese New Year” on Jan. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.
In this hands-on cooking class ($79 per person), Frank Finney will show you how to make gingery pork dumplings with sesame-soy dipping sauce, stir-fried noodles with chicken and baby bok choy, wok-fried Sichuan shrimp and spicy Chinese long beans with garlic.
To reserve a spot in the class, go to surlatable.com or call (208) 888-1215.
Submit restaurant news to scene@idahostatesman .com.