Words & Deeds

Boise restaurant closes after 14 years. Musicians to perform at memorial for former owner

Brad Breakell talks with customers on the patio at PizzalChik in this 2008 file photo.
Brad Breakell talks with customers on the patio at PizzalChik in this 2008 file photo. Idaho Statesman

After PizzalChik chef and former owner Brad Breakell died unexpectedly in late December, it appeared his children might reopen the Boise restaurant after a temporary closure.

That won’t be the case.

PizzalChik, 7330 W. State St., has shuttered permanently.

The public is invited to a potluck celebration of life for Breakell at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Dry Creek Mercantile in Hidden Springs, 5892 W. Hidden Springs Drive. Longtime friend Russ Martin said the ceremony will be followed by live music. Known for his affinity for tie-dye shirts and classic rock, Breakell played drums in the restaurant’s house band, the Gold Fish Boys.

“There’s going to be talking for two hours — let everybody give their testimony about what a great guy he was and how much fun we had,” Martin said. “And then the music will start up. I think we’ll be pretty mellow for a while, then rip the roof off the place.”

Musicians slated to perform include remaining Gold Fish Boys members Martin and Jason Greisa, plus Lori B and the DDs, Scott Wallenberg and the Blues Addicts, Kayleigh Jack and more. The event could go as late as 11 p.m., Martin said. “We’re trying to get together ... all the people that used to play there together and do something.”

PizzalChik, which combines the words “pizza,” “salad” and “chicken,” opened in 2005. Over the years, the restaurant was featured on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, and it was honored in Food Network Magazine as serving Idaho’s best pizza.

Boise musicians, in particular, grew fond of Breakell’s vision. In addition to the weekly house band — which included cameo performances from Breakell’s three daughters — PizzalChik hosted an annual summer festival. Breakell described PizzalStock as “three days of peace, music, love and pizza.” In 2014, singer Lyle Lovett even hopped on stage inside PizzalChik and performed with Wallenberg, Martin, Breakell and others.

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.