Words & Deeds

New restaurant opens in Meridian. If someone tells you it isn’t a chain, will you bite?

When a new restaurant opens in Meridian, odds are that it will be a national chain.

That’s not Boise food snob talk. That’s just how West Ada County rolls.

So whenever there’s an exception to the corporate dining rule in Idaho’s second-largest city, it’s worth noting.

Eight Thirty Common officially unfurled the red carpet today. After a soft opening last week, the new gastropub at 830 N. Main St. has started serving lunch and dinner in the former Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria space. That regional chain restaurant closed in the spring after 11 years.

Rob and Lisa Lumsden, who founded Flatbread, have taken their Meridian location in a fresh direction. However, it’s business as usual at the five remaining Flatbread restaurants in Boise, Eagle, Salt Lake City and Bend, Oregon.

uncommon burger.jpg
The (un)Common Burger ($13) is made with an American Kobe blend patty, Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese, ETC Sauce and a Bigwood Bread challa bun. It also has a housemade cheesy tot on top and comes with loaded house-punched Idaho fries. Eight Thirty Common

With a “chef-driven but playful menu,” Eight Thirty Common offers “quality cocktails and a significantly expanded craft beer selection.” According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “the menu features upscale pub fare including hand punched fries, house-made sauces and dressings, fresh takes on healthy salads, sandwiches, unexpected entrees, nightly specials and weekend brunch.” Brunch is expected to launch in late July and run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The Eight Thirty Common name is a reference to the address, as well as the pub’s mission to be a gathering place. (Hey, whenever there’s an outdoor patio, Idahoans will always gather.) The new restaurant already is tempting customers on social media with photos of its menu, which is available at the official website.

Entrees range in price from $16 (Braised Carnitas: build-your-own, pineapple-glazed carnitas, Sonoma corn tortillas, trimmings) to $32 (Cast Iron Seared Ribeye, 28-day-aged, hand-trimmed, 16-ounce rib eye, smashed garlic, rosemary, blue cheese compound butter, today’s vegetable).

Eight Thirty Common has 10 beers on tap, according to its website, and serves a variety of craft cocktails priced around $10. (The Old Fashioned listed for $1.75 is probably a typo, but hey, one can dream.)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Online: eightthirtycommon.com.

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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.