You’ll still be able to get lubricated on State Street between Arthur and Plum streets, just not in quite the same fashion and not until 2019.
Turner’s Sportsfair – the oddly grafted bar and sporting goods store that closed in mid May – has sold to Einstein’s Oilery, a Boise-based chain of automotive oil-change shops.
Einstein’s bought the entire parcel formerly owned by John Turner and his family, which poured drinks and sold fishing tackle on State Street for several generations. The property is just over an acre and includes the 3,500-square-foot retail operation and a 1,434-square-foot duplex.
“We’ll demo the duplex, which has really run its course,” said Michael Meuret, co-owner and co-founder of Einstein’s. That’s where the company will build its new operation. “It’s definitely time to make that corner look a lot better.”
Which leaves the original Turner’s building. The bar poured its last drink on May 12. The sporting goods store closed its doors a week or so earlier. Turner is retiring, and there is no family member to step in and take his place.
Meuret said he and partner Stephen Taylor plan to rent out the well-worn property once Turner clears out the final inventory and fixtures.
“There aresome people interested in continuing on with a beer and wine tasting room,” Meuret said. “For home brewers, to set them up and have shows and tastings. It would be just beer and wine. ... They are local business owners in the area. They are not in the industry right now. One of the potential partners in that business is an owner of an automotive business.”
Brent Bungard, the commercial real estate agent who listed the property, said Turner sold the operation's liquor license separately. He declined to identify its new owner. Turner did not respond to a request for comment.
The Idaho State Police oversee the Gem State’s Alcohol Beverage Control division and all liquor licensing; Tim Marcano, state police public information officer, said the new owner’s name will become public record once the sale closes, but that has not yet happened.
Meuret said he almost bought the liquor license himself, but “they’re $180,000 – on a deal – right now.” He said he paid $675,000 for the property and the buildings on it, but he did not buy Turner’s business.
“Stephen and I were just interested in buying the corner” that housed the decrepit duplex, Meuret said. “John didn’t want to sell it as a piece. We bought the whole thing for less than I was offering on a smaller parcel up the road.”
Einstein’s, which opened on Fairview Avenue in November 2007, is in the middle of an expansion that will take the chain from eight outlets to 12.
“We’re hoping to start demolition pretty quickly,” Meuret said. “We should break ground in August and open in early 2019. That’s No. 2 of four planned. The first is at Eagle and Overland; it will break ground in June. ... The third is at Ten Mile and Franklin. The last we believe is on Broadway. That will wrap up Einstein’s.”
“We couldn’t turn down the opportunity” that Turner's retirement provided, he said. “We’re excited.”