Words & Deeds

You can’t buy beer at this Meridian bar and grill. A new one in Nampa has other plans

The Cicero Italian beef sandwich comes with au jus and potato salad or chips for $9.50. Sure sounds good with a can of Boise-brewed beer, doesn’t it?
The Cicero Italian beef sandwich comes with au jus and potato salad or chips for $9.50. Sure sounds good with a can of Boise-brewed beer, doesn’t it? Soda Stop

The phrase “bar and grill” usually brings certain expectations: Pub food. Cold beer. Sports on TV.

But Soda Stop, which debuted in 2015 at 2845 E. Overland Road in Meridian, calls itself a “soda bar & grill.” Craving a Coke spiked with coconut-flavored syrup? You’re in luck, kid. Want a brewski? Sorry, Pops. No alcohol here.

The newest Soda Stop, which opened last week across from College of Western Idaho in Nampa, has different plans. By the time it holds an official grand opening the first weekend of April, co-owner Kathy Ussery hopes to sell canned and bottled beer, along with single-serving wine.

Ussery wants the Soda Stop at 6026 Birch Lane to be a destination, she says — “that nice, comfortable, you want to sit and stay a while” place. It’s twice as big as the Meridian location. And check out the flat-screens on the walls. Hey, is that a basketball game on TV?

Assuming that Canyon County approves beer and wine licensing, the restaurant’s selection will lean toward Idaho craft breweries, she says. “We’ll probably throw in a Coors Light,” Ussery adds.

Soda Stop’s focus will always be flavored sodas and warm, mouthwatering sandwiches. Try the Bronco Blue soda (Sprite, Blue Curacao, coconut). Use it to wash down a Bozeman grilled panini (USDA Choice beef, bacon, cheddar, chipotle ranch, sourdough). Or order a deli-style sandwich, a wrap or a salad. Treat yourself to a cookie — or a “brookie,” a brownie cookie.

Ussery has no plans to apply for alcohol sales in Meridian, she says. Design and location differences already have differentiated the two restaurants. Meridian handles lots of delivery orders and drive-thru action, peaking in the mornings and afternoons. In Nampa, things heat up during the evenings. If beer and wine become part of the picture, that situation should continue to blossom.

Want to grab a bite before a Ford Idaho Center concert? Hit the nearby Soda Stop.

“Families are coming in, sitting down and having dinner,” Ussery says. “I think it just opens it up to more people.”

Online: gosodastop.com.

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