Words & Deeds

A new restaurant and bar just opened in Eagle. ‘There’s nothing like us out there.’ 

Customers might be surprised when they walk inside the Tavern at Eagle Island, which debuted last week at the corner of Linder Road and Chinden Boulevard.

It’s in a strip mall, but it’s no typical strip-mall restaurant.

“It’s not just four walls — it’s nice,” co-owner Barry Werner says. “We had a nice build-out. When you walk into the place, you go, ‘Wow.’ “

The 3,000-square-foot bar and grill takes a successful Boise concept and expands it to 6500 N. Linder Road in Eagle. Along with co-owners John and Kristy Toth, Werner also owns the Tavern at Bown Crossing, which has operated for 12 years at 3111 S. Bown Way. They also launched the upscale Owyhee Tavern in 2016 in the old Gamekeeper Lounge space at 1109 W. Main St. in Downtown Boise.

The Tavern at Eagle Island’s menu is modeled after their Bown Crossing destination, Werner says, “except we are not doing sushi.”

“We’re doing burgers and nachos to Double R Ranch beef, American Wagyu steaks,” Werner says. “And fresh daily seafood specials.”

With a seating capacity of 104, it’s about the same size as the Bown Crossing location. One major difference? It has an open floor plan. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, with Sunday brunch coming in a month or two. The full bar has a liquor license.

The Tavern is more gastropub than sports pub, but you can discreetly get your game on. Three TVs show ESPN and other sports channels with the volume turned down.

Werner believes the Tavern will fill a niche for area residents. “The reason why we liked it out there is it reminds us of Bown Crossing a little bit with all the neighborhoods,” he says. “There’s nothing like us out there, where you can get a steak, a burger and a cocktail.”

Meridian’s popular Homestead Bar and Grill is nearby, but that’s more of a traditional sports and craft beer bar. (Albeit with a ridiculous Bloody Mary.)

“We’re not going to faze them at all,” he says. “We’re totally different.”

Intriguing menu options at the Tavern range from Kung Pao Calamari ($14) and Ahi Poke Salad ($15) to Cappellini and Lobster ($28) or a good ol’ fashioned gourmet Tavern Burger ($12). Other highlights include a kids menu, an extensive wine list — oh, and Pot Roast Nachos ($15). Gotta have Pot Roast Nachos.

When Idaho weather warms up in the spring, you’ll be able to feast outdoors. The Tavern’s outdoor patio should be ready by then.

“We’re going to do it right,” Werner says. “It’s right out in the front. There will be traffic noise, but we’re going to try to fix it so there isn’t. It will seat 80. It’s a big patio.”

Online: tavernateagleisland.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.