Words & Deeds

Cheerleaders! Free ice cream! Free. Beer? Something’s fishy at new Boise restaurant

Some new restaurants do soft openings. Paddles Up Poke prefers loud.

The expanding local chain will unveil its second Boise restaurant with a party Friday, March 9, at McMillan’s Corner, a strip mall at Eagle and McMillan roads.

“We’ll have Boise State cheerleaders there, a bunch of local vendors, ice cream. We’re giving out a bunch of free gift cards, shirts — all that stuff,” owner Dan Landucci says.

He didn’t even mention the band. Or the coupons for free beer.

Paddles Up already has made serious noise Downtown with its colorful, raw-fish-in-a-bowl concept. Poke, pronounced “POH-kay,” is a popular restaurant trend. It’s basically uncooked fish chunks jazzed up with tasty sauces, veggies and other toppings. Since opening last year at 237 N. Ninth St., Paddles Up has been ahead of business projections, Landucci says.

He’s hoping for similar success at 13601 W. McMillan Road, where the grand opening will kick things off in style.

Speaking of ice cream? Here’s the scoop:

▪  Paddles Up will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:45 a.m. before opening at 11 a.m.

▪  Walk in the door, and you’ll get a free scoop from The Stil artisan ice cream shop, which opened last year in Downtown Boise. “We’re just going to buy a bunch of ice cream for everyone,” Landucci says.

▪  Local Hawaii transplants Red Light Challenge will perform live music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Don’t worry, the duo won’t crank the volume too high while you’re trying to eat.)

▪  If you buy some poke, you’ll get a free drink. All day. Take anything from the restaurant’s selection of sodas (including local Bucksnort Soda Co.), Boise-based Good Vibes Kombucha, sparkling water and more. Prefer beer? Landucci wasn’t able to secure beer and wine licensing in time for the grand opening. So Paddles Up will hand out free beer coupons good for your next visit. Or just drive to the Downtown location of Paddles Up and cash your free beer in there.

▪  The first 50 customers will receive a free Paddles Up Poke T-shirt.

▪  And, yes, a few Boise State cheerleaders are expected to be on hand to root for, well — delicious raw fish. “Buster Bronco, too,” Landucci adds.

Paddles Up Poke hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at both locations. Online: paddlesuppoke.com, facebook.com/paddlesuppoke.

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