Words & Deeds

New brewpub proposed in Boise, promising to be ‘positive force for change’ in neighborhood

Bench House Brewing Company is being proposed at 4795 W. Emerald St.
Bench House Brewing Company is being proposed at 4795 W. Emerald St. mdeeds@idahostatesman.com

Pop a beer to celebrate, Boise. A new brewpub might open on the Bench.

Bench House Brewing Company has been proposed in a vacant brick building at 4795 W. Emerald St., according to filings with the city of Boise.

If Bench House secures the necessary permits and lease, it would be the neighborhood’s first brewpub. Open as soon as next summer, it eventually would include a kitchen as part of a long-term plan.

The owners make a compelling argument in a letter to the city. They say Bench House Brewing “can be a positive force for change in the Bench neighborhood and the city.”

“... The Bench, one of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods, has long been overlooked,” the letter says. “The main thoroughfares of Orchard and Vista have been blighted by rundown, vacant, buildings and seedy dive bars. But despite its past, it is currently in the midst of a revitalization. An influx of millennials, priced out of places like the North End, are changing the neighborhood. They are attracted by relatively cheap property values and charming midcentury homes. The only thing missing are local businesses to fill up the vacancies in commercial areas, but that is changing.”

With a space that holds about 50 patrons, on-site parking, an outdoor patio and an in-house brewery, Bench House could be part of a local transformation.

“We’re planning on occupying a derelict and vacant office building and completely renovating it,” the letter explains. “Our goal is to make it into an attractive neighborhood gathering place. In addition to selling beer, we would like to host community events and be actively involved in the neighborhood.”

Bench House Brewing would provide bike racks and be “as pedestrian and bike friendly as possible. We would like to contribute to turning the Emerald/Orchard area into a walkable neighborhood hub.”

What do you think — can you drink to that, Boise Bench folks? You can’t just hang out at the Navajo Room bar forever.

(OK, you probably shouldn’t, at least.)

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