Words & Deeds

Jim’s Coffee Shop has closed in Boise’s North End

The giant rooster above Jim’s Coffee Shop is one of the landmarks in the North End.
The giant rooster above Jim’s Coffee Shop is one of the landmarks in the North End. Idaho Statesman file

Roosters are best known for welcoming daybreak, but the sun has set for the silent, iconic bird atop Jim’s Coffee Shop.

At least for now.

The neighborhood cafe at 812 W. Fort St. has closed. A sign on the door says: “Closed Till Further Notice.”

A North End institution populated by regulars craving a Western “eggs benny” or freshly made beef stew, Jim’s is the sort of unpretentious gathering place that harks back to a simpler era.

Rumors of the closure have swirled for weeks. I spoke to the diner’s longtime waitress Joni Chaffin the week before Christmas. “We can’t talk now,” she said, but indicated she’d phone when concrete information became available about the eatery’s future.

An employee at the nearby Boise Co-op says scuttlebutt is that ownership might simply change.

The rooftop rooster, named Rudy, is 7 feet tall and made of fiberglass. Jim’s Coffee Shop owner Dave Fellows told the Statesman in 2013 that the restaurant’s former owner bought Rudy from a traveling salesman in the 1960s.

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