Despite ‘great’ spot, Boise bar and restaurant closes after 6 months. It’s for sale.

·2 min read

One of downtown Boise’s newest drinking establishments has closed — and is available to potential new owners.

Union Block Bar & Eatery, 730 W. Idaho St., shuttered earlier this month. The furnishings and equipment are for sale through Arthur Berry and Company. Any sale of the assets will be contingent on the negotiation of a new lease with the landlord, said Brent Bungard, associate broker/principal at Arthur Berry.

Tucked into what used to be part of now-defunct Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Union Block Bar & Eatery opened with takeout and delivery in late December 2020. Using the kitchen of sister operation Mai Thai next door, Union Block offered “New American cuisine with a twist.”

After making its seated-dining debut in early 2021, the sleek bar added attractions such as karaoke on Wednesdays and trivia night on Thursdays. But there were signs of struggles. After hyping a pay-per-view boxing match on social media in April, Union Block Bar & Eatery ended up canceling the event because of a lack of reservations.

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The California-based majority owner of Union Block Bar & Eatery and Mai Thai — who asked that his name not be published — said the closure was because of a combination of business challenges, including hiring employees. “The location is great,” he said. “I still believe in the place where it is, completely.”

Old Chicago operated in the spot — and one next door — for 23 years before it closed in early 2020. The two spaces now are available as separate turn-key businesses.

The former Union Block Bar & Eatery has limited kitchen equipment but no separate kitchen space. The half that formerly was Old Chicago’s dining room includes a kitchen. It’s listed as a restaurant with Story Commercial.

Bungard said he thinks the short-lived Union Block spot will be attractive to anyone eager to open a new bar.

“The buildout’s brand new. All the assets are, for all purposes, brand new. ... It’s ready to go,” Bungard said.

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