Words & Deeds

Are pigs flying? Flying Pie reinvents as ‘Bistro’ with full service, larger menu

You’ll need a fork for the Leaning Tower of Pizza ($12.75). It’s a baked sandwich on Texas toast loaded with pepperoni and fresh basil — and topped with cheesy tomato sauce.
You’ll need a fork for the Leaning Tower of Pizza ($12.75). It’s a baked sandwich on Texas toast loaded with pepperoni and fresh basil — and topped with cheesy tomato sauce. Flying Pie

Nothing is more synonymous with pizza in Boise than Flying Pie. With three Boise restaurant locations and one in Meridian, the laid-back, order-at-the-counter pizzeria has been a local institution for decades.

Like, where else can you find a photo of rapper Ice Cube taped to the soda-fountain ice dispenser?

Not on Broadway Avenue.

Last month, Flying Pie at 1326 S. Broadway Ave. closed for two weeks to remodel, train staff and reinvent itself.

When it reopened, the restaurant had metamorphosed into Flying Pie Pizzaria & Bistro — a full-service, sit-down restaurant with an expanded new menu.

Kayce Bradford, human resources director, admits it’s taken time even for her to get used to.

“I’ve been at Flying Pie for 16 years,” she says. “I’m pretty excited about this.”

“We have a waitstaff. We have hostesses. You’ll come in, you get seated. So far, the response to the service has just been overwhelming positive.”

If you still want to order at a counter, visit Flying Pie at 6508 W. Fairview Ave., 4320 W. State St. or 601 S. Main St. (Meridian). Those restaurants haven’t changed.

Broadway Avenue’s reinvention occurred because of customer suggestions, Bradford says. Flying Pie opened in that spot — a former Busters sports bar near Boise State — in February 2016.

“We really listened to the customer feedback at that end of town,” Bradford says.

“We still have our same pizzas that Fairview, State Street and Meridian are continuing to see,” Bradford says. “We still have the classic Flying Pie items. But we’ve brought it up to the next level.”

To be clear, Broadway customers won’t find a Tuesday gourmet pizza night or an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Those are still popular promotions at the other Flying Pie restaurants.

But the Broadway menu is epic compared to its brethren. It’s also colossally evil, if you’re a calorie counter.

“If you’re trying to diet, I don’t think it’s a good idea to come in,” Bradford quips.

Mainly utilizing pizza ingredients already on hand, they’ve added baked sandwiches and pastas. There also are entirely new options, such as spiced ribs.

“We have added some new ingredients,” Bradford explains. “We have meatballs that we’re making. We’ve introduced some spinach artichoke dip as a starter that is flying off the shelves. People love it. It’s delicious.

“We’re making in-house bacon, sweet and spicy. It’s caramelized. It’s so good.”

It will take time for some customers to realize that Broadway is different than the other Flying Pies.

But Bradford thinks most will appreciate the changes. Even local institutions need to evolve.

“We just celebrated our 39th year,” she says. “We’ve been around for a long time, and people have a lot of memories about Flying Pie. I’ve been going there since I was a kid. I’m hiring kids that grew up with Flying Pie. It’s just kind of crazy.”

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds