Words & Deeds

5 Things to Do This Weekend: 2 new bars open Downtown — and there’s a new Boise taproom

Craft Brewers of Boise includes a “to go” cooler, but you can pop a canned or bottled beverage for a $1 corkage fee.
Craft Brewers of Boise includes a “to go” cooler, but you can pop a canned or bottled beverage for a $1 corkage fee.

1. Check out new bars

The old Angell’s Bar and Grill spot at 999 W. Main St. has been reborn. Two new watering holes — Ampersand Bar and Art Haus Bar — just opened in adjoining spaces. Ampersand’s hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, while Art Haus operates from 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Saturday. They’re owned by local restaurateurs Remi McManus and Kris Komori. The men originally said they planned to keep the bars no-frills and bare bones, but the concept evolved. “The Ampersand side is essentially our dive bar,” McManus explains. “Art Haus, it’s the higher-end cocktail bar that people would expect from us.” Ampersand offers five types of liquor, plus canned beer and wine. Grab a shot of whiskey for $4, a beer for $3 — or a combo for $6. Or head over to Art Haus and grab signature and classic cocktails priced in the $9 to $11 range. Art Haus also has five beers and two wines on tap.

2. Sip at a grand opening

Craft Brewers of Boise will celebrate its grand opening from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at 420 N. Orchard St. What exactly is Craft Brewers of Boise ? It’s a home-brewing paradise that will offer equipment for in-store brewing or for purchase or rent. But it’s also a taproom and bottle shop with a local focus — “like 80 percent Idaho,” owner Eli Taylor says. He’s seeking out hard-to-find local and regional beers to encourage exploration. Customers select from 24 taps: 18 beer lines (two nitro), three cider taps and three wine taps. “I guarantee there’s something that they’ve never heard of or never had,” Taylor says. During the grand opening, patrons get a free growler when they purchase the beer or wine fill. Plus, Yelp check-ins get 10 percent off in the taproom. Food trucks are rolling in for the festivities, too — Off the Grid Pizza starting at 4 p.m. Friday and The Rustic Oven starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

3. Have a laugh

Holiday break isn’t normally prime time for stand-up comedians, but this year is an exception in Boise. Offbeat, sometimes controversial comic Kurt Metzger is headlining now through Sunday at Liquid Laughs, 405 S. 8th St. Comedy Central junkies will be familiar with Metzger, who’s been featured on the network in various capacities. Notably, Metzger spent four years as a writer and occasional performer on the now-defunct “Inside Amy Schumer,” a stint that won him an Emmy Award. Catch Metzger at 8 p.m. Thursday ($15), at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday ($20) and Saturday ($20), and at 8 p.m. Sunday ($15). Tickets: 208-941-2459, liquidboise.com.

Kurt Metzger

4. Go to a basketball game

Holiday treats are sweet, but holiday revenge would be sweeter. The Boise State men’s basketball team will try to make up for a Dec. 15 loss in Eugene, Oregon, when the Broncos (5-7) welcome the Ducks (8-4) to Taco Bell Arena on Saturday for a rematch. The 5:30 p.m. game is the final nonconference outing for Boise State. Tickets are $10 to $20 at 208-426-4737 or broncosports.com. Can’t go? Watch the game on CBS Sports Network.

5. See The Fab Four

There’s a reason The Fab Four has been together since the 1990s and performed across the globe. These guys are exceptional at what they do. The California-based Beatles tribute band sounds like the real deal, dresses like the real deal, even looks like the real deal. At 8 p.m. Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boiseans will hear classic tunes spanning the Beatles’ career, and even solo songs such as John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Tickets are $35, $45 and $55 at Ticketmaster, and cost $5 more day of show.

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.