Words & Deeds

This Downtown Boise restaurant has closed. Something ‘weird’ and ‘cool’ will replace it.

Donut Daze serves up artery-clogging delights in Downtown Boise

Donut Daze served doughnuts, fried chicken, waffles and beer and wine -- and stayed open late at night.
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Donut Daze served doughnuts, fried chicken, waffles and beer and wine -- and stayed open late at night.

Downtown Boise restaurant owner Russ Crawforth just pulled the plug on one business.

Now he’s preparing to plug in another one — along with some guitar amps.

Live entertainment is coming to 160 N. 8th St. this fall, Crawforth says. The space formerly held Donut Daze, which closed last week. The restaurant had opened in June of 2018 with a promising, artery-hardening concept — selling fried chicken and doughnuts late into the night.

“I got tired of waiting for the business to be profitable,” said Crawforth, who also owns The Mode Lounge and Pie Hole across 8th Street. “So I closed it. I want to do something different there.”

Construction that had blocked the sidewalk contributed to Donut Daze’s downfall, he says. “I went from doing pretty well to very badly pretty quickly.” But unlike the co-owner of a nearby beer bar, Bru, which shuttered at the end of July, Crawforth does not put the primary blame on Main + Marketplace remodeling.

“I just think I opened something that was a little too narrow,” Crawforth says. “Didn’t provide enough options.”

The space’s next iteration will be all about options. “Whatever direction the place wants to take, I’m willing to let it go in that direction,” Crawforth says.

The goal is to showcase local and touring bands on a small stage, plus “karaoke and open-mike comedy, some fringe theater, and maybe a few drag shows,” he says. “Just kind of have a fun little chill space.”

Chicken and doughnuts will continue to be served, but the venue’s menu will be expanded to include sandwiches and vegan options. Crawforth is working with a chef.

Beyond that, he prefers not to share more details.

“It’s going to be a weird place,” Crawforth promises. “I think this thing’s going to be cool, though.”

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and opinion columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Since starting at the Statesman as a news intern in 1991, he has been a sportswriter and features/entertainment editor. Deeds also has freelanced for The Washington Post, Relix, Country Weekly, Velo News, Beer Advocate and more.