Boise Scores a New Bar 

Atlas Bar opens downtown, plus deets on Stack Rock Hard Cider and The Sturiale Place

A former Central Addition home, the Wood House (top and bottom left), will find new life as The Sturiale Place cafe/museum at 15th and Jefferson streets. Meanwhile, The Atlast Bar (right) goes for “a Pengilly’s [vibe].”

Kelsey Hawes

A former Central Addition home, the Wood House (top and bottom left), will find new life as The Sturiale Place cafe/museum at 15th and Jefferson streets. Meanwhile, The Atlast Bar (right) goes for “a Pengilly’s [vibe].”

Though you'll find a couple vintage motorcycles parked inside, The Atlas Bar is not a biker bar.

"We're going for a Pengilly's [vibe] with a little more of a modern twist," said owner Todd Asin. "I used to finish motorcycles for a living. I have 18-foot ceilings, so I have a couple of motorcycles on the wall."

Located at 108 S. 11th St., next door to Prestige Skateboards, The Atlas Bar features a handcrafted 10-seat bar with 14-foot columns and stained glass that lights up on top. Max capacity is around 30, with two high tops that come off the wall near the bar and three tables in the back. There are also plans in the works for a small patio.

"I got a liquor license. I'd been on the list for 16 years," said Asin. "They give you such a short time frame that I was just searching for anything. ... Once I found this spot, I came up with the idea for the place. After 16 years, it kind of just catches you out of the blue. Nobody's life is the same 16 years later."

Asin is keeping the drink offerings minimal to match the intimate space: a standard menu of cocktails and six taps pouring mostly regional micros.

"It's just going to be a classic bar. ... We're not doing any kind of infused cocktails; there's no gimmick. I've been around Boise all my life, and I used to bartend a long time ago. I have buddies that own bars. The gimmicky stuff just doesn't seem to work, so it's just a bar. Pretty much, if you can name it, we should be able to make it."

The Atlas Bar officially opened March 31 and is now slinging drinks seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.

"It's just a quaint place; it's the kind of place I'd want to go," said Asin. "It's small, dark—but it's not scary dark—it's clean, it's eclectic."

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In other booze news, you'll soon be able to snag a hard cider with your chard and radishes at the Boise Farmers Market. Peaceful Belly co-owner Clay Erskine has branched out into fermented apple wine with his new business, Stack Rock Hard Cider.

"I got intrigued with heirloom apples and cider last year and made some small batches with some of the apples varieties that are commonly available around the Treasure Valley," said Erskine.

Those batches, crafted with dessert fruit from Kelley Orchards in Weiser, were so well received that Erskine decided to up the volume.

"My friend Scott [DeSeelhorst] at Snake River Winery ... offered his equipment for me to try to make a little bit more cider this year," said Erskine. "We ended up making about 600 gallons, and we just did our first bottling."

Stack Rock will feature three ciders to start, all named after trails in the Foothills: Dry Creek, a dry cider; Hard Guy, a habanero cider; and Hulls Gulch, a hopped cider.

"We don't back-sweeten any of them," said Erskine. "They're all bottle-conditioned so they're going to chill out in the bottles for about a month and then we'll probably have them at farmers market available for sale, probably the end of May, first of June."

Erskine is also growing his own apples for future batches. Last spring, he grafted 500 fruit trees, including English, French and East Coast cider apple varieties like Ashmead's Kernel, Northern Spy and Kingston Black.

"We won't get fruit off of those until probably year five, so it's still a ways off," said Erskine.

Stack Rock's ciders clock in at 7.3 percent ABV and will be sold in 500 milliliter bottles for $8 a pop.

"The niche that I'm shooting for is more of the wine-style versus the beer-style of cider making," said Erskine.

In other news, a new Italian cafe, gift shop and museum is opening this summer at 1501 W. Jefferson St. The Sturiale Place will be housed in the former Wood House, an 1890s Queen Anne home that was relocated from Boise's Central Addition to 15th and Jefferson streets in November. Owner Rita Sturiale is busy remodeling the space for a projected July 1 opening.

"I'm kind of a stickler for old fashioned things, and I want to keep it as original as I possibly can but since it's a commercial property, I have so many codes and restrictions," said Sturiale.

The small, 18-seat cafe will have a seasonal patio on the side and will serve "authentic, delicious, homemade Italian food like grandma used to make," Sturiale said.

The menu will most likely include a few specialty handmade pastas and eggplant parmesan, along with Italian cookies like pizzelle and pignoli.

"It'll greatly depend on the chef, which I'm working on right now," said Sturiale. "So when I hire the chef in the next couple of weeks ... we can solidify which direction we're going."

Sturiale said the spot will also house a small gift shop and a museum featuring items she has collected over the years. The museum won't be open all the time. Rather, she said, it will be "a little, interesting side note."

"We'll have some Italian heritage information in there. It's just going to be a little, personal, eclectic museum of sorts," said Sturiale.

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