3-story building would bring bar, restaurant to former Wells Fargo space near Capitol

A three-story building is planned to house a lounge, a restaurant and third-floor office space just one block from the Capitol.

Until summer 2018, Wells Fargo operated a bank branch at the one-story building still located on the site at 505 W. Bannock St. The building is set to be demolished.

A company owned by Greg Strimple, a longtime Republican political pollster who moved to Boise in 2010, is behind the new building.

Strimple did polling for former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who earlier this year considered running for president as an independent in 2020. Strimple was a senior adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The ground floor of the 15,100-square-foot building would contain the lounge and room for a private bar, according to site plans submitted to the city of Boise.

It also would contain a recessed outdoor seating area that would not affect the sidewalk. Tall combination window-doors would open from the bar to the seating area.

This building at 505 W. Bannock St. in downtown Boise, a former Wells Fargo bank branch built in 1945, will be demolished to make way for a three-story building. John Sowell

The restaurant on the second floor would have similar window-doors that could be opened to allow air in from outside. A large outdoor patio would be located at the rear of the building, accessed by a main door or from a private dining area.

The lounge and restaurant would have a total of 193 seats.

The third floor would have a balcony overlooking Bannock Street and an outdoor patio overlooking the restaurant below.

The third floor could be renovated sometime in the future as a residence for Stemple, according to a letter submitted to the city by project manager Chris Borders, an architect with Pivot North Architecture.

Three private parking spaces would be provided behind the building. One handicapped vehicle space and a bike rack with room for at least one bicycle are required by the city.

The existing building, built in 1945, was originally home to John’s Candy Store and soda fountain, operated by John Alexander. It later served as the office of Federal Employees Credit Union and then First Security Bank, which merged with Wells Fargo in 2000.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.