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Eli's and Yen Ching Bakery Close, Simple Sushi Opening Soon 

When one door shuts, another opens

Back in the day, this column read more like a restaurant obit page. Each week brought more sad news about struggling eateries that just couldn't pull through the economic collapse. And while things have been on the up and up, there are a few food funerals we're sad to announce.

Sandwich spot Eli's Italian Deli officially closed its second location, which opened in downtown Boise in 2009.

"We just closed it down to focus on our Nampa facility where we first started," said owner James Elizondo.

Those with Bada Bing cravings can get their Eli's fix at 122 12th Ave. S. in Nampa.

Another relatively recent downtown Boise addition, Yen Ching Bakery, has announced, once again, that it will be shuttering its doors on Sunday, Feb. 27. Known for its selection of homemade Asian treats--egg custard tarts, milk breads and buns filled with red bean paste and barbecued pork--Yen Ching Bakery also closed unexpectedly for a bit in early 2010.

"We will be closing at the end of the month," confirmed manager Mike Chou. "We just couldn't generate enough traffic through here ... we'll definitely be using the space for something. As far as what it is right now, we've got lots of ideas and we're just going to take a little time and make sure we do it right."

Also on the recently closed roster is the Glenwood pizza eatery Atza Pizza.

But for every funeral there's a birth. And downtown Nampa will soon bring home a new family member. Simple--Sustainable Sushi and Sake Bar, one of a handful of sustainable sushi restaurants sprinkled throughout the country, is slated to open at 1214 First St. S. in Nampa on the Ides of March, Tuesday, March 15.

Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Clif and Tracy Volpi and Chef Matteeo will bring this new concept to the Treasure Valley.

"We're offering all sustainable fish, which means that they're not going to be over-fished," said Tracy Volpi. "We're adhering to the Monterey Bay guidelines."

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., publishes pamphlets that rank fish based on their sustainability. The tiny, 19-seat Simple will also offer a "very intense vegetarian and vegan menu." Et tu, sushi?

Speaking of sushi, Boise is getting another raw-fish purveyor. Sushi Joy Asian Cuisine will open in the building that used to house Chopsticks at 2275 W. Main St.

And in Nampa to Boise news, Squeezers Giant Burgers is slated to open a Boise location at 9140 W. Emerald St. this spring.

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