Ever since Brad Taylor opened BBQ4LIFE at 930 S. Vista Ave., he’s heard the same thing from thirsty customers: “Do you serve beer?”
“The problem,” Taylor says, “was there’s so many businesses around us that sell beer that I just was sort of hesitant to jump into it.”
In June, Taylor didn’t just jump — he dove headfirst into a vat of beer. After The Bench Neighborhood Bar closed next door, Taylor reopened the space.
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BBQ4LIFE isn’t just a Vista Village restaurant now. It’s also a beer and wine bar.
If you’re in the bar, you can order from BBQ4LIFE’s menu of slow-smoked meats and vegan plates. And if you’re in the family-friendly restaurant, you can finally enjoy a pint of cold beer to help wash down that sweet and spicy ’cue. An interior doorway connects the rooms, but it’s covered in drywall. Once red tape is worked out with the city of Boise, the doorway will be reopened. (With luck, in a couple of weeks, Taylor says.)
BBQ4LIFE’s bar is cozy — just under 1,000 square feet, Taylor says. There are about 10 bar stools along with three tables and a standing area.
Six taps pour Idaho craft beer and one cider. “We have plans to do another six taps if we feel like we need it,” Taylor says.
The beer and cider are local with the exception of one brew from Oregon-based Deschutes. Wine, which is sold by the bottle and glass, also is mostly from Idaho.
“That’s sort of our thing, anyways,” Taylor says. “If we don’t make it ourselves, we get it from somebody local who does.”
Plenty of customers already are showing up just to sit and imbibe, Taylor says. But let’s face it. If you’re dropping in for a cold one, it’s going to be tough to resist ordering some grub.
In a 2015 restaurant review, the Idaho Statesman recommended the pulled pork sandwich ($9) and its “smoky pieces of tender pork on a buttered and grilled hoagie roll.” The tri-tip sandwich ($11) “was equally tasty, with its lightly smoked chunks of chopped beef (pink in the center) plopped on a grilled hoagie roll.” Those come with a side, by the way. Dig into “the old-school potato salad, creamy and pocked with dill pickle and hard-boiled egg.”
If that stuff was delicious without beer, think how BBQ4LIFE’s cookin’ tastes now.
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