Boise & Garden City

Mongolian Grill in Downtown Boise not happy about being replaced by The Funky Taco

A rendering of what the outside of The Funky Taco’s Downtown Boise restaurant would look like.
A rendering of what the outside of The Funky Taco’s Downtown Boise restaurant would look like.

The Funky Taco, a staple of Boise’s food truck culture, plans to renovate the building at 801 W. Bannock Street for use as a brick-and-mortar restaurant, documents filed with the city of Boise show.

That location would put The Funky Taco on a strip of restaurants and bars on 8th Street that has become a primary corridor for Downtown Boise nightlife and eating out. The new restaurant would take the place of Mongolian Grill and Bar.

Guong Nguyen, who said he’s the manager of the Mongolian Grill, didn’t sound too happy about moving out. He said the owner put $300,000 worth of improvements into the building when it opened almost 15 years ago. The owner wants to renew the Mongolian lease, Nguyen said, but the building’s owner, a Chicago-based company managed by David Baum, has refused.

Efforts to contact the building’s owner were unsuccessful.

Nguyen said he’s considering fighting the Mongolian Grill’s eviction in court. If he can’t stay in the building at 8th and Bannock, Nguyen said, he likely will close the business because moving to another location would be too expensive.

It’s unclear when The Funky Taco plans to open its new restaurant. Efforts to contact company representatives and the project architect were unsuccessful.

Planned renovations to the building at 8th and Bannock streets include providing stair access to the basement, building a mezzanine area and installing new windows doors and signs, according to a letter to the city’s planning department explaining the project. New sprinklers, mechanical, plumbing and electrical work are also on tap.

The Funky Taco’s slogan, repeated on voicemail greetings and online, is “Stay Funky!”

According to its website, The Funky Taco emphasizes Asian, Indian, Mexican and American foods “with a heavy influence on vegetarian, vegan and omnivore options.”

“We religiously support our local farmers and our menu selections will morph and change with the seasonal yields,” the website reads.