Nicholas Jones is ready to Chow.
Hours earlier, the owner of Chow Public Market & Eatery signed his final tenant, a key accomplishment on his list of things to do before opening at the Boise Spectrum.
"Nine available tenant spots at the market," Jones says happily, "and they're all filled."
Chow (stylized as CHOW) is set to open in late June at 7609 W. Overland Road, across from Edwards Cinemas. The public market is being touted as the first of its kind in Boise by D.D. Dunlap Companies, which owns the Spectrum. The idea is to grab a bite, have a drink, unwind — and maybe do a little shopping between tastes and sips.
Chow will inhabit four previously vacant Spectrum spaces converted into a large suite that takes up just over 7,200 square feet. It promises to be a dynamic place, particularly on Thursday evenings and Saturdays, when rotating pop-up vendors will showcase farmers-market-style wares.
"There might be someone dyeing homemade scarves for you right there in front of your eyes," Jones says. "Or with fresh vegetables that they farmed. People with fresh and new ideas ... Fun trinkets that you can purchase."
The nine permanent tenants will provide the framework for Chow. Although food and drink will be emphasized, Boiseans also will find items ranging from sweet-smelling soaps to handcrafted fashion accessories.
"The idea is that people come and discover new things frequently in this space," Jones says. "And it will all be open and flowing."
▪ Aladdin's Egyptian Cuisine — Aladdin's food trailer recently made the jump to brick and mortar with a new quick-service restaurant in Boise Towne Square food court. Aladdin at Chow will have a more traditional restaurant feel than the mall location, Jones says, including a lunch and dinner buffet.
▪ Bar 76 — It's the nickname of Seventeen 76, a bar in the middle of the public market. "The story behind the name is independence," Jones says. "That's what our country was founded on." Samuel Adams beer will be on tap, but you'll definitely find local brews, too. Bar 76 will have a liquor license, but possibly not by the time Chow opens, Jones cautions.
▪ Bluwave Tacos — This local food trailer is known for its West Coast-style baja street tacos. At Chow, most of the Bluwave menu will stay the same, owner Andrés Nicolás says, but he plans to add a few items such as a breakfast burrito, an egg taco, and breakfast and lunch tostadas. Bluwave's signature taco is wrapped in a handmade, blue corn tortilla. Don't forget to try the nachos made with blue chips.
▪ The Chow Market — At about 600 square feet, this boutique retail space will specialize in local flair. "It will have high-end briefcases that are specific to Chow — leather, homemade briefcases. It's going to have high-end housewares. It's going to have a lot of nice, high-quality things," Jones says. "Everything from shirts to soap. Bath bombs and stuff like that."
▪ Good Burger — Jones was in a bragging mood when he opened his first Good Burger recently at Boise Towne Square. "We honestly think we’ve created the best burger that anybody’s going to have," he said. Expect the same gourmet flourish at Chow, including Good Burger's special sauce and a Tuscan bun. You can even upgrade to Kobe beef. But don't worry, kids. There's also a budget Nick Jr. Burger for $1.87.
▪ La Gelateria — This gelato stand's creamy dessert comes from a family recipe, Jones says. "Our key gelato flavor is going to be a coconut sticky rice gelato," Jones says. "The first time people have it they're going to be, 'Wow, this is what we've been missing?' It's all made in house from scratch."
▪ Ratio Coffee — Java junkies will feed their need here. "They're going to have everything from espresso to cold brew to regular coffee," Jones says. "Iron Horse is going to be the specific brand of coffee they're serving."
▪ Something Sweet — Candy by the pound? Yep. But this won't be like WinCo's bulk candy aisle. "It's going to be something very similar to It'Sugar," Jones says, "when you go in and you have your little bag and you select some Skittles and other candies, some licorice." Something Sweet also will offer chocolates from Meridian's Truffles, Etc. Owner Lisa Black makes the confections in her home-based commercial kitchen. "We'll have a display counter with truffles, caramel apples, pretzels and other delicious treats," Black says.
▪ The Spice Shoppe — Need a bottle of wine? Or a secret-weapon condiment for your backyard barbecue? Find them at The Spice House. This also will be the place to browse for cheeses and charcuterie. "We will have imported meats, as well as some local sourced meats," Jones says.
Although Chow primarily is indoors, the public market's decor will strive to capture Boise’s outdoor feel. There will be communal tables and counter seating.
Large, roll-up doors will lead to an outdoor patio, too. (Don't let that gelato melt in the sun!)
Optimally, Chow will meet its opening date and be able to take advantage of Boise's gorgeous June weather — and crowds gathering all summer for weekly Thursday Thunder concerts at the Spectrum.
"We're nearing the end of the construction process," Jones says hopefully, "and it's looking great."