Words & Deeds

Don’t get crabby, but Boise’s only full-time seafood market won’t reopen soon after all

Reel Foods delicacies such as Dungeness crab are on the way.
Reel Foods delicacies such as Dungeness crab are on the way.

When it comes to relaunching, Reel Foods Fish Market has been swimming upstream.

Boise’s only full-time specialty seafood shop closed on Capitol Boulevard in late January to make a move to Vista Village shopping center at 1118 S. Vista Ave. The Idaho Statesman published an article in February indicating Reel Foods would reopen “soon.”

It didn’t happen in spring. And it won’t happen this summer. The plan is now mid- to late fall, according to a recent post on Reel Foods’ Facebook page.

“We are very sad to announce that due to unforeseen construction and permitting issues, we will be pushing our reopening to November. We thank everyone for their support and patience during this frustrating time.”

An email to chef Marcus Bonilla, who purchased Reel Foods in 2015 with fellow chef Mark Ballen, was not immediately returned.

Reel Foods has been a Boise favorite since the early 1980s. A tiny market hidden on American Boulevard for decades, it eventually moved to a larger space Downtown, launched a grab-and-go section, a menu of sandwiches, salads and chowder, and an oyster bar. Bonilla added sushi and cooking classes to the Reel Foods plate.

The move to a smaller Vista Village space will return Reel Foods to its roots, Bonilla told the Statesman earlier this year. He wants to drop many of the peripheral activities and focus on the market aspect — selling fresh, quality seafood.

Loyal customers on Facebook lamented the delay, but most have been patient.

“Good (and tasty) things come to those who wait,” posted one commenter.

A Thanksgiving fish feast, perhaps?

Before then, Boise seafood lovers craving fresh, wild-caught fish have a fall option. Louie’s Wild Alaskan Seafood, an annual part-time business at 8650 W. Fairview Ave., is scheduled to open for the season in late October.

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