Business

A bookstore closed. Longtime restaurants too. What the Treasure Valley lost in 2018

Shigeki Matsuzawa prepares a sushi dish at Shige Japanese Cuisine in this 2010 photo. Shige was one of several Downtown restaurants to close in 2018.
Shigeki Matsuzawa prepares a sushi dish at Shige Japanese Cuisine in this 2010 photo. Shige was one of several Downtown restaurants to close in 2018. Chris Butler

They’re gone now, but for many Treasure Valley dwellers, they’re not forgotten. Longtime businesses and other icons closed in 2018. Here are 12.

Boise restaurant to close after 36 years, meaning a California chain is leaving Idaho

Tons of restaurant chains expand into Boise to get their piece of the pie. But it was bye, bye Marie Callendar pie, at least on Fairview Avenue.

Another endangered Boise icon is listed for sale, and the neighbors are worried

The controversy over this one echoes a growing number of skirmishes throughout the Valley as development races to adjust to the region’s growth. In this follow-up story, the buyers said they plan to convert the historic building to condominiums.

Final chapter arrives for this Downtown Boise bookstore. All books 75 percent off

The signs announced the end of yet another small business in Boise’s rapidly changing Downtown: “The Sinking Ship Sale! 75% off EVERYTHING.”

Another Downtown bookstore was destined for closure. Then these buyers called.

For book lovers, the approaching end of Trip Taylor Booksellers was bad enough. Downtown Boise’s three bookstores would soon become two. But as the news of Taylor’s going-out-of-business sale spread, a second of the three stores was being offered for sale with little fanfare. Its owners quietly braced to go out of business, too.

Popular corn-maze site along I-84 gets new owner — who plans to develop it

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For 21 years, The Farmstead has created a corn maze at Jim and Hilary Lowe’s farm next to Interstate 84 and Eagle Road. This year’s season, featuring pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo and pony rides, will take place Sept. 21 to Nov. 3. In this scene from 2014, the maze theme was the Wizard of Oz. Idaho Central Credit Union has bought the 51-acre parcel for development of a regional mortgage center and call center, but has no immediate plans. The Lowes hope to continue farming and hosting the maze as long as possible. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

Idaho’s largest credit union bought a 52-acre parcel next to Interstate 84 and Eagle Road, a highly visible parcel that has been home for many years to The Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival.

‘It’s sad.’ Open since the ’80s, this Downtown Boise restaurant and bar will close

The restaurant was a second-floor fixture in the Capitol Terrace building Downtown.

And, as Capitol Terrace’s owners moved to remake the building, this restaurant closed too:

After a quarter century, one of Downtown Boise’s oldest restaurants will close next week

Ramen Sho, on the other side of Shige, closed at the end of May after one year of business.

Shoppers lament loss of Kmart as its last Treasure Valley store prepares to close

Kmart has its roots in a five-and-dime store S.S. Kresge founded in 1897 in Memphis, Tennessee.In 1966, it opened a store on Americana Boulevard, just north of the Boise River. The company replaced that store with a new one twice as large on ParkCenter Boulevard in 1992. At the time, Kmart was the second-largest retailer in the United States, trailing only Walmart. Its last Boise store closed in 2016.

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The Nampa Kmart store, which will close in early August, has served generations of Treasure Valley shoppers. It’s the last operating Kmart store out of five that formerly operated in Boise, Mountain Home and Ontario, Oregon. David Staats dstaats@idahostatesman.com

Kmart is owned by Sears Holdings, which brings us to ...

Liquidation sale underway at Boise’s Sears. But beware: Not everything may be a bargain

Sears’ Boise store was no longer attracting enough shoppers to survive. Years of companywide turnaround efforts bore little fruit as Sears announced round after round of store closings, which finally reached Boise.

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Signs in the Sears store at the Boise Towne Square announce the store’s pending closure. Prices are advertised as 10 to 50 percent off. John Sowell jsowell@idahostatesman.com

And as the year ended, the retail wars claimed another victim, expected to succumb by March 2019:

Another Boise discount department store will close. A liquidation sale has started

“It’s crazy how there’s so much closing,” one shopper said. “With Kmart going out of business, too, it’s just another one going down.”

Meanwhile, the owner of one previously closed store hopes to bring it back:

Embroiled in lawsuit, Smoky Davis owners hope to open again in Boise. Guess where?

With Smoky Davis gone for the first holiday season in 65 years, households across the Treasure Valley faced a plight this year.

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Smoky Davis was one of the business casualties during the widening of State Street and Veterans Memorial Parkway. Gary and Dee Davis hope to rebuild in the same spot. The old sign is ready, stored in their backyard, if that happens. Gary’s grandfather, Del Davis, who founded the business in 1953, had the sign built. This is the replacement. A freight truck took out the first one years ago. Katherine Jones kjones@idahostatesman.com

Closings aren’t always cause for sadness:

This new Meridian restaurant just closed because it was too popular. It lasted 4 days.

The restaurant reopened a few days later.

David Staats is business editor of the Idaho Statesman, which he joined in 2004. He has assigned, edited and reported business, politics, government and other Idaho stories since 2006.Get the top Idaho business stories of the week in a free email every Monday morning. Go here, then press the “Select” button under Idaho Business.
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