Words & Deeds

‘We’re growing up’: After 6 years, Downtown Boise bar closes to remodel, reinvent itself

If you’re a craft beer fan, you’ve probably been to PreFunk Beer Bar.

Helping quench Boise’s thirst for pints and growlers, it became a local brew paradise after opening in 2013. Its outdoor beer garden was a popular Treefort Music Fest destination.

After a keg-draining “Last Hurrah Party” last week, PreFunk closed for remodeling. The windows are covered. The 39 taps are gone.

The Nampa location of PreFunk remains open and unaffected.

But something different is planned at 1100 W. Front St. in Boise.

“We’re not going out of business. We’re just changing a little bit,” PreFunk owner-founder Justin Flynn says. “We’re growing up.”

Flynn wants to keep details a secret, including the Boise location’s new name. However, he says, a kitchen will be constructed as part of the remodel.

“We’re completely redesigning the inside,” he says. “We’re starting from a blank slate. We’re going to have a better functioning bar. We’re going to have more seats. We’re going to redesign the patio.”

Flynn tried to add gastropub-style food to PreFunk in 2018. He had hoped to partner with a local chef or food-truck operator to add a shipping container kitchen. The plans fell through.

This time, Flynn thinks he’ll be open with an evolved concept by fall.

“It’s going to be PreFunk to the next level,” he says. “PreFunk is like the spot before the spot. Our new adventure is going to be THE spot.”

“I’m excited for the next chapter of PreFunk,” he adds. “It’s been six great years, but it’s just time to switch it up and give Boise what they want.”

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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.