Words & Deeds

Rascal Flatts to open a Boise restaurant? Let’s hope they fare better than Toby Keith

A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut, opened last year.
A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut, opened last year. rfrestaurants.com

Sammy Hagar has his Beach Bar and Grill restaurants. Jimmy Buffett’s got his Margaritaville chain.

So it’s not exactly uncharted country streams for Rascal Flatts to want to open a Downtown Boise restaurant at 151 S. Capitol Blvd., part of City Center Plaza. That’s the case, according to paperwork filed with the city of Boise.

The gazillion-selling, Ohio-based trio probably has a few bucks in the bank. Why not get into the food biz?

The question is, why Idaho?

Hey, Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Besides, the first Rascal Flatts restaurant already opened last year in Stamford, Connecticut. Las Vegas-based R.F. Restaurants filed a building application last month to open a Rascal Flatts restaurant in St. Louis. As is the case in Boise, the owner was listed as Chris Burka and architect listed as Ilan Baldinger. Other locations reportedly are planned in places such as Chicago and Cleveland.

Live music, dancing and drinks are served at the Stamford hangout, plus a menu of “Southern flare and hospitality, embodied in a delicious menu to satisfy all cravings.” In other words, this ain’t gonna be a Waffle House. An order of Chicken & Waffle costs $25. Mac & Cheese on the kids’ menu is $8.

When mentioning Rascal Flatts, it’s hard not to think about Toby Keith — and not just because the band opened for Keith back in 2003 at the Idaho Center. But while we’re reminiscing about that ... oof. I took a beating for that concert review. One letter writer even told me, “If you don't like America ... get out!!!”

Shucks, I’m still here. That’s how I know that just a few years ago, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill was supposed to open at The Village at Meridian. Finally, in 2014, those plans were nixed, crushing fans of jingoistic jingles and servers known as “whiskey girls.” With luck, the Rascal Flatts restaurant project will fare better. When I reached out, Boise developer Gardner and Co. declined to comment on the building permit filed with the city. An email to Burka was not returned, either.

A Rascal Flatts restaurant would be an unusual addition to Downtown Boise, right? Move over, Treefort hipsters. I’m ordering an 8-ounce “Flat”-Iron Steak and Fries. For $27 in Stamford, it comes with broccoli – and even tots instead of fries, if you prefer. If we tell the band that the pun might be better spelled “Flatt”-Iron, maybe we’ll even get a free drink.

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