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What the cluck, Boise? Facing city demands, chicken drive-thru flies the coop to Meridian

This news is for the birds if you’re a Boise fried-chicken fan.

But if you roost in Meridian? Prepare to flock to 3110 W. Quintale Drive.

After opening a Boise drive-thru in July, The Chicken Shanty has flown the coop. The food-cart franchise location has closed at 6219 W. Overland Road. The Chicken Shanty will open a corporate store in the former Sweeto Burrito restaurant space early next year, according to founder Tyson Miltenberger.

Boise city requirements “became too much,” he said.

“We were having a really hard time with the city letting us have a drive-thru,” Miltenberger wrote in a text message. “It would have cost several hundred thousand dollars in new permitting and upgrades, and since we’re a small business, we decided to move the location to Meridian.”

Founded in 2020, the Oregon-based chain sells what it describes as “premium craft chicken.” The Boise spot was its first in Idaho.

“That’s what we consider ourselves — is craft chicken,” Miltenberger told the Idaho Statesman in August. “We do everything from scratch. It’s casual fast food, but ... we use premium ingredients.”

The three-piece Chicken Basket includes three hand-breaded strips, crispy fries, coleslaw, choice of two sauces and a drink.
The three-piece Chicken Basket includes three hand-breaded strips, crispy fries, coleslaw, choice of two sauces and a drink.

The Chicken Shanty brand sells fried chicken strips, wraps, sandwiches (including the trendy Nashville hot style, of course) and wings, too. There’s even coconut chicken strips, described by the menu as “crispy hand-breaded coconut chicken with fries, coleslaw, chili sriracha sauce, dipping sauce” and a drink.

There are sweet, fresh-baked Chicken Turds, too. The Shanty’s Facebook page claims a customer said the treat “tastes like an Almond Joy and a chocolate chip cookie had a baby.”

The Chicken Shanty has taken over the former Sweeto Burrito building, where it is remodeling.
The Chicken Shanty has taken over the former Sweeto Burrito building, where it is remodeling.

Despite being a bummer for Boise customers, the move to Meridian — in a strip mall near the intersection of 10 Mile and McMillan roads — is a definite upgrade. The drive-thru had been a bit unusual because of red-tape challenges involving the city, Miltenberger previously told the Statesman. Employees had walked out of the drive-up food cart to take orders at vehicles, food was prepared in a second small building, then it was brought back and handed to customers. You could feast on-site inside your vehicle or at outdoor tables.

The former Sweeto Burrito spot is a standard brick-and-mortar restaurant with a drive-thru on the side.

“We are excited to be in Meridian, as we have heard that they are very pro-small business,” Miltenberger said in a message, “and also a lot of our customers were driving from Meridian to Boise.”

A car waits for its order this summer at the drive-thru, where employees exited the cart to take orders, then brought food back to the vehicle.
A car waits for its order this summer at the drive-thru, where employees exited the cart to take orders, then brought food back to the vehicle.