Words & Deeds

Two Downtown Boise bars closed because of collapsing roof. When will they reopen?

Old Boise

Sometimes, it’s good to bring the house down in a jam-packed bar.

Other times, not so much.

A collapsing roof has forced China Blue and Dirty Little Roddy’s, 100 S. 6th St., to close for repairs. China Blue shuttered in September. Dirty Little Roddy’s, which operates below street level, called it quits after the first weekend in December.

Roddy’s, a country-themed nightclub, could reopen in January, bar owner Ted Challenger says. He’s hoping China Blue, a two-level dance club, is back by March.

It’s impossible to know for sure. The building was built in 1901, Challenger says, so fixing the sagging roof isn’t as simple as hammering a few shingles. The building’s interior requires bracing. Beams need to be replaced. And as workers from Meridian-based ESI Construction explore the damage, unforeseen hurdles could appear.

“It’s such an old building ...,” Challenger says. “It’s pretty tricky. It’s quite an engineering feat.”

The extreme winter of 2016 triggered structural deterioration, Challenger says. By this fall, it had grown into a safety issue.

The good news? China Blue, which opened in 2003, will get a facelift during the roofing job. Billed as Idaho’s largest dance club, it will showcase a renovated, fresh look when it returns.

Until then, bargoers will have to be patient. China Blue and Dirty Little Roddy’s both are major New Year’s Eve destinations in Old Boise. But unless there’s a Christmas miracle, not this year.

“We hate it just as much as you do,” Challenger told patrons in a statement on China Blue’s Facebook page. “We can’t wait to see you all again, hopefully soon.”

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman, where he also has been a sportswriter, entertainment editor and features editor. Deeds co-hosts “The Other Studio,” a one-hour music show, at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.