Words & Deeds

Ice cream ‘n’ alcohol? YES, please! Boise shop opens 2nd location today, 3rd in spring

How common is positive feedback for Downtown Boise ice cream shop The STIL?

Let’s put it this way. Co-owner Kasey Allen wasn’t even aware of this week’s Boston Globe travel article about Boise. You know, the one that described The STIL’s honey bourbon ice cream as “exquisite.”

“We’ve gotten some good press,” Allen admits. “Both locally and nationally. But so much of it, you just hear about it.”

Since opening at 786 W. Broad St in summer 2017, things have been so sweet that deciding whether to expand seemed like choosing between one scoops or two.

A new STIL mini-location opened today inside Chow Public Market & Eatery, a public market at the Boise Spectrum. And by late spring or early summer, a full-size ice cream parlor is planned at 3724 Eckert Road, next door to Lucky 13 pizza at Harris Ranch.

The STIL, which stands for The Sweetest Things in Life, whips up flavors that are creative, if not crazy. How about some Phat Mints (chocolate and fresh mint), Southern Porch (sweet tea) or Breakfast in Bed (maple bacon)?

Get the maple bacon. So. Freaking. Ridiculous.

Alcohol can be part of the experience, too. Some flavors, like that honey bourbon, are infused with liquor. And even if they’re not? Part of The STIL’s philosophy is that ice cream can be “ordered with beer, wine and espresso pairings, floats and flights.” Don’t want alcohol? Dairy-free and vegan ice cream options are popular, too.

“The booze-infused and the alcohol pairings are just a small part of what we do,” Allen explains. “The majority of people who come into our Downtown store come just for the ice cream part of it.”

On the other hand, “the floats and the alcohol pairings aspect of the concept definitely is a draw,” Allen says. “And I think people have responded really positively to it.”

Feeling lightheaded from a booze-infused ice cream flavor? That’s probably a sugar rush more than an alcohol buzz. Using liquor as an ingredient in ice cream is sort of like making rum balls, although you have to be 21 to partake.

The latest STIL replaces La Gelateria gelato stand at Chow. So it doesn’t offer a full menu. “We’re kind of internally referring to it as The STIL Stop,” Allen says. “But at the same time, we’re still going to have some booze-infused choices. We’re still going to have our vegan and dairy-free options, as well as our unique cream-based flavors.”

Want an actual alcohol pairing or float? It will be a collaborative effort. Instead of serving beer and wine, The STIL counter at Chow will refer customers to the public market’s on-site bar.

Allen says he’s thinks The STIL is a good fit at the Boise Spectrum. In addition to the public market, it’s the home of Edwards 22 Cinemas & Imax.

“Hopefully, people get out of a movie and they can pop over and grab an ice cream or just hang out in the place,” he says. “It’s a really cool space.”

Speaking of fun destinations, he’s stoked about the STIL coming to Harris Ranch. The 1,500-square-foot ice cream parlor will have all the flavors, beers and wines of the original STIL.

“We’ve done really well with our Downtown store,” Allen says, “so we’re really excited to be able to bring the concept to other parts of the Treasure Valley, and Boise specifically.”

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Since joining the newsroom as an intern in 1991, he has been a sportswriter, features editor and entertainment editor. Deeds also co-hosts “The Other Studio,” a one-hour music show, at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.