Words & Deeds

Local bar chain expands: Food and rooftop patio in Boise? Blowing out wall in Nampa?

PreFunk in Nampa, which opened in 2014, offers 30 tap handles for customers.
PreFunk in Nampa, which opened in 2014, offers 30 tap handles for customers. PreFunk Nampa

PreFunk Beer Bar founder Justin Flynn likes to say that if he had a dollar for every time a customer asked if his place served food, he wouldn’t need a kitchen.

“If that makes sense,” Flynn says.

It does. If not, have another brew. And start pondering what you’d like to order from PreFunk’s menu when a kitchen is added this spring in Boise.

Launched five years ago at 1100 W. Front St., PreFunk and its 39 taps have thrived on the Treasure Valley’s thirst for pints and growlers. In 2014, Flynn added a second PreFunk bar with another 30 taps at 1214 1st St. South in Nampa with business partners Ryan and Heather Driscoll. (A third PreFunk followed in Meridian but quickly split to become Heritage Hop Haus.)

PreFunk will continue to grow in 2018. A large shipping container upgraded with a kitchen will be added to the Boise PreFunk with a target launch date of March 1. Before that, PreFunk in Nampa should finish a six-month remodel that increases its size and doubles its seating capacity.

Oh, and there’s that rooftop patio you might have heard about ...

Rooftop
Plans for a rooftop patio at PreFunk in Boise include a bar housed inside a shipping container. PreFunk founder Justin Flynn says he also envisions another large container on the roof to provide covered seating. Pivot North

Flynn has big dreams for PreFunk in Boise, and they have been drawn up by Pivot North Architecture and shared online. A rooftop patio is part of a three-phase remodeling vision that also includes replacing PreFunk’s parking lot with a tree-lined urban park.

Those overhauls are not happening anytime soon, Flynn admits.

“We’ve always been debt-free,” he says. “We’re trying to grow naturally.”

But the Boise kitchen? The Nampa expansion? Weeks away.

In Boise, the shipping container — about 24-feet-by-8-feet — will be added to the east side of PreFunk. Food-service equipment will be installed. Flynn plans to partner with a local food truck operator or mobile-style chef to handle the cooking.

PreFunk will serve gastropub-style food, Flynn says. “It’s going to be like gourmet sandwiches,” he says. “We’ll have a big charcuterie board from Portland — Olympic Provisions — a lot of high-end, quality food. The quality of food is going to be bar none.”

At the Nampa PreFunk, there’s no plan for a restaurant component. But next week, they’ll knock out a wall and take over a former barbershop next door.

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PreFunk in Nampa will expand in early 2018 to take over the former barbershop next door. Heather Driscoll PreFunk Nampa

The extra 500 square feet will make a major difference, co-owner Heather Driscoll says. PreFunk in Nampa currently seats about 25.

“It feels packed when there’s 15,” she admits with a laugh.

PreFunk will be expanded with additional stools, plus a booth along the front window. Demolition also exposed a brick wall that adds a cool vibe to the space.

“We’re hoping to take over the whole block someday,” Driscoll jokes.

(Don’t worry, she’s kidding. Messenger Pizza is next door. They even deliver to PreFunk.)

With all the construction and rubble, Flynn and the Driscolls clearly are going to need a beer break in the next few days.

Fortunately, that is easily arranged.

“I’d rather be busy,” Flynn says, “than bored.”

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