Words & Deeds

OK, that bites. No Bleubird sandwiches coming to torn down Roosevelt Market after all.

A sweet ending planned for a historic East End market has taken a slightly sour detour for gourmet sandwich lovers.

A rebirth of the renovated Roosevelt Market, 311 N. Elm Ave., will not involve Sarah and “DK” Kelly, as was previously announced. The restaurateurs — who ran the now-defunct, popular Bleubird sandwich shop in Downtown Boise — had planned to reopen the Roosevelt with the building’s owners, Jill Simplot and her mother, Pam Lemley.

Not anymore. The Kellys revealed a change of heart Monday on the Facebook page of Petite 4, their French-inspired bistro: “Sarah & DK will no longer be the future operators of the Roosevelt Market & Cafe. We thank Pamela and Jill for collaborating with us and giving us this creative opportunity. It saddens us that we will not be a part of this project, however this is the best business decision for us at this time.”

Closed since the end of 2018, the Roosevelt is undergoing a jaw-dropping remodeling process. Neighbors were stunned recently to find it almost entirely demolished.

Reached by phone, chef Sarah Kelly said she and her husband will give Petite 4 (pronounced “pe-teet four,” American style) their full attention. The intimate restaurant at 4 N. Latah St. has been a hit since opening on the Boise Bench in 2018.

What about those beloved Bleubird sandwiches, which drew praise from celebrity chef Alton Brown? So those definitely won’t return at a reincarnated Roosevelt Market, as promised?

“I’m sorry!” Kelly said. “I was looking forward to it, but it’s just ... It was a tough decision to make.”

“There’s a lot of things — personal-wise and business-wise and partnership-wise — that we decided it was not a good move for us.”

The couple might have something else up their culinary sleeves besides Petite 4, she added. But not soon.

“I’m not over yet!” Kelly quipped. “But right now, this is the one thing we’re going to focus on. I have so many ideas and things I want to do, but nothing in the near future is planned for that. We’re just going to rededicate and focus.”

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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.