Since the Old Spaghetti Factory announced its plans to remodel the Lithograph Building on Idaho Street in downtown Boise last year, Chris Mallane, the owner of Louie's Pizza has consistently said that Louie's will not be daunted by the impending arrival of a corporate rival next door.
However, in response to recent rumors that Louie's would relinquish its downtown location to the Portland-based chain, Mallane admitted to
BWthat there were "earlier negotiations."
Declining to comment on the specific nature of those talks, Mallane reiterated Louie's intention to stand its ground and weather the difficulties that may arise when Old Spaghetti Factory opens for business in June.
Citing the openings of Johnny Carino's Italian and Carrabba's Italian Grill near the Louie's Meridian location, Mallane reaffirms his faith that the downtown location will survive despite some heavy-hitting competition.
"They're not going to scare us out," he says. "We've endured the opening of Italian restaurants in Meridian and it's not affecting us."
Chris Hine, Vice president of marketing for Old Spaghetti Factory, says that there's enough business for both restaurants to take a slice of the market pie.
"There's room for lots of restaurants that serve the same cuisine and they exist side by side," says Hine, using the number of closely located coffee shops in downtown Boise as an example.
Hine also defends Old Spaghetti Factory's choice of location, saying that the company was drawn to the building next to Louie's because the building's age and downtown location are well suited for the restaurant's concept.
"We're not trying to come in and chase [Louie's] out," says Hine. "They do what they do well and we do what we do well."