Words & Deeds

Goodbye, Chinese restaurant. State Street buildings would be razed for new Starbucks

A barista delivers coffee after Starbucks opened at 1797 W. State St. in Boise in 2008.
A barista delivers coffee after Starbucks opened at 1797 W. State St. in Boise in 2008. Statesman file

If you’ve ever driven near Downtown Boise, you’ve probably noticed the building at 1806 W. State St.

Since 2002, it’s been North End Chinese Restaurant. Before that, it was the home of fast-food restaurants. (Remember Taco Time there?)

Prepare for the possibility of that structure vanishing.

Starbucks has requested approval from the city of Boise to build a coffee shop and drive-thru lane there. The project would spill into the adjacent property to the west, too, meaning the end of the building at 1810 W. State St. That space held A.E. Hudsons antiques and collectibles shop, which is closed.

If the project gets green lighted, North End Chinese Restaurant owner Jin Zheng would probably reopen at a new location, he says. Either way, Zheng adds, North End Chinese will operate at its current site at least for several more months.

One would also assume that the Starbucks at 1797 W. State St. — right across the intersection — would be shuttered. (I emailed Starbucks media department Nov. 30. Aside from receiving an automated reply, I haven’t heard back.)

At the new Starbucks, the drive-thru would be on the north side — behind the main building, if you were viewing from State Street. Parking would be mostly where the old A.E. Hudsons structure is now, plus in the alley at the rear of the site.

Suddenly, I have a craving for a Unicorn frap. And kung pao chicken.

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Michael Deeds tries the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino, available until April 23, which the coffee retailer bills as "flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up."

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