Words & Deeds

Goodbye, TableRock: Boise's oldest brewpub is closing

Waiter Jacob Hansen carries food to customers at TableRock in March 2013.
Waiter Jacob Hansen carries food to customers at TableRock in March 2013. cbutler@idahostatesman.com

TableRock Brewpub & Grill, a staple of Downtown Boise for nearly a quarter century, will close May 22.

The eatery, which calls itself "Boise's oldest brewpub," will be replaced by gourmet hamburger restaurant Grind Modern Burger, along with Brewforia Beer Market.

Grind, which opened in September 2013 as a new part of Brewforia in Eagle, received rave reviews from the Idaho Statesman, which called it "the best burger in the Valley. By like a mile." But the shared-space Grind and Brewforia operation closed in March 2014 because of lack of business.

Rick Boyd, owner of Brewforia and co-owner of Grind, says the fancy-burger tradition will be reincarnated with fresh pizzazz at the new location at 705 Fulton St. Grind will keep TableRock's brewery equipment and offer its own craft beers, but it won't have a brewpub vibe.

"We're really kind of taking a more steakhouse approach to burgers," he says. "Definitely higher-end."

Boyd says that dry-aged cuts of beef, house-cured pancetta, wild Alaskan salmon, fresh-baked buns, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef and local produce will be featured on the menu.

TableRock, which opened in 1991, is a seminal part of Boise's craft-beer scene. But it struggled in the past few years. TableRock Brewing Co., which operated the brewpub, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 because of a failed bottling plant. Chris Nelson took over the brewpub in 2009, eventually putting TableRock up for sale. Multiple head brewers have come and gone recently, leaving Nelson to brew TableRock's beer.

Nelson, who owns the building and the parking lot across the street, thanked employees and patrons in a news release. TableRock's last day of business is Thursday, May 22.

Regulars will be excited to know that Grind plans to revive an old TableRock favorite, its Nut Brown Ale, and probably offer Hopzilla IPA on a seasonal basis. But Grind will concoct its own standard lineup of beers with a new brewer. There are no plans to sell the beers off premises, Boyd says.

In addition to Grind, a 900-square-foot Brewforia bottle shop is planned in the building. It will stock about 800 varieties of beer. Grind's menu also will be offered there. The original Brewforia location at 3030 E. Overland Road in Meridian will continue to operate as usual.

Boyd says that he and Grind's other two owners are hoping to open by Sept. 1.

"We're really excited," he says. "After the experience in Eagle, we know that people really love our food. We just couldn't lure enough people from Boise on a consistent basis to make that work."