Amaru Confections to Open Dessert Bar Friday, May 4 

click to enlarge amaru_confections.jpg

Courtesy Amaru Confections

Desserts from Amaru Confections have been a mainstay in Boise restaurants and grocery stores—Whole Foods, District Coffee House and Fork among them—for more than a decade, and over the years the business has evolved from an in-home specialty cake startup to a thriving 3000-square-foot commercial bakery and a retail space on the Boise Bench. Now, one patio expansion and interior facelift later, a new incarnation of Amaru will open at 217 S. Roosevelt on Friday, May 4: a date-night dessert bar, which will pair Amaru desserts with regional beers, wines and ciders.

“My wife and I have wanted to create a dessert-only restaurant for about three years now," Chris Wyatt, who owns Amaru with his wife, Aimee, wrote in a press release. "The idea hit us while traveling in San Diego. We stumbled onto a local place that offered a wide variety of desserts, and they suggested a wine, champagne or beer to pair with our dessert choice. A light bulb went off for both of us."

Renovating the bakery's existing Bench space was a long slog, involving everything from knocking out walls to adding a new patio.

"We've moved from something that had absolutely zero retail seating—we literally had one table for people when we met with them for their wedding cake [tasting]—to now we have seating outside for about 35 to 40, and indoors about the same," said Wyatt in a phone interview.

Amaru will have a case of desserts for customers to choose from, with emphasis on its 18 flavors of artisan cake by the slice. Staff will also offer suggestions for how to pair each sweet treat with a beverage. Wyatt, for example, said he would recommend pairing the bakery's ganache-filled Mexican mocha chocolate cake with a Kona Vanilla Thrilla stout, or a glass of Proletariat red.

The bar will emphasize local wineries and breweries, with pours from Coiled Wines, Cinder Wines, Sawtooth Winery, Boise Brewing, Woodland Empire Alecraft, Payette Brewing and more on offer.

Wyatt said the goal for the dessert bar is to make the spot a destination for couples, whether they've been married for years or are just stepping out on a first date. Later, the bakery plans to "hook up" with dating apps like Tinder and websites like eHarmony to offer coupons to couples.

"Let's just say you met somebody online or you met somebody somewhere and you wanted to go on a first date with them," Wyatt said. "Coffee might feel too cheap, but you don't know them that well so you don't want to drop 100 bucks at Chandlers and spend four hours with somebody you really don't know and may not like at all. So you could come here, have a really great dessert, a glass of wine, a glass of beer, and you could be in and out for under 15 bucks. If things don't go well, scoot out in 20 minutes, or if things go really well, spend 100 bucks and four hours."

From Friday, May 4, onward, Amaru will expand its hours of operation to Tuesday-Thursday 9 a. m.-8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Plus, it will kick off the concept with a First Friday celebration 5-10 p.m. on opening day that will include games, food trucks and live music.
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