Words & Deeds

Is it real? It’s Reel. Boise’s fish market to finally reopen. First, there’s a crab feast

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

After Reel Foods Fish Market owner Marcus Bonilla closed his Capitol Boulevard store in January, he hoped to reopen in March at a former Blimpie sandwich shop right up the hill.

Ten months later, it’s finally happening. Reel Foods will be reborn Dec. 1 at 1118 S. Vista Ave. in the Vista Village shopping center.

Seafood junkies will be stoked. But Bonilla hopes their expectations are realistic. Because Boise’s only full-time specialty seafood shop isn’t going to have an ocean-sized selection.

“I’m starting from scratch again,” he explains. “Baby steps.”

“It’s gonna still be the same good-quality seafood. I won’t have the big freezer and cooler that I had before. I have the display case, and one or two freezers, but we won’t hold the freezer product that we used to.”

Construction and permitting issues stalled Reel Foods’ return. Unexpected setbacks also made the project much costlier than Bonilla had imagined.

Customers can show support by attending a Reel Foods all-you-can-eat crab boil fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 10. The event is from noon to 5 p.m. at Lost Grove Brewing Co., 1026 S. La Pointe St. It’s $60 advance, $65 at the door. Other options include all-you-can-eat clam chowder ($25/$30), oyster shooters ($2.50), a clam chowder cup ($7), brats ($5) and burgers ($7).

“I’m trying to get the customer base back and let them know what’s going on,” Bonilla explains.

There’s also a GoFundMe page for Reel Foods.

Soon enough, word will spread about the fish market’s return. And although the new incarnation won’t have a restaurant component, plenty of hungry Boiseans will want to check out the space.

“We’ll have the oysters and the clams and mussels, but I won’t have the oyster bar,” Bonilla says. “We won’t be selling any food like we were before. But the plan is to do cold food after Christmas.”

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Online: Facebook.

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