Of Bourbon and Beards 

Saint Lawrence Gridiron gets booze, Boise chefs get James Beard nods

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Scrawled on a sign near the bar at Saint Lawrence Gridiron are the words: "Pray for bourbon." On Monday, March 9, those boozy prayers will be answered.

"The plan from the time we conceived of the restaurant was to have liquor, specifically bourbons and American brown liquors—bourbons, ryes, whiskeys and all that good stuff," said owner Brian Garrett. "It's just taken us a long time to find a license to purchase or lease."

Garrett recently signed a lease for a liquor license and is now working his way through the permitting process, adding that this is the third time SLG has sought a liquor license. He said the tagline for his burgeoning bar program is, "Yes, this is your grandfather's bar."

"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel with cocktails; we're trying to do the best we can with cocktails," Garrett added.

The spot will serve classics like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Sidecars, Negronis and Sazeracs, along with a handful of original cocktails. Modern Hotel Bartender Ashley Roshitsh will take over as SLG's bar manager.

"We never envisioned this to be a quick-serve, drunk spot," said Garrett. "We've always envisioned it more as a lower key, kind of lounge-y restaurant that does serve liquor."

That said, Garrett plans to push the restaurant's hours later, experimenting with midnight closings seven days a week to start, and is considering altering the space to accommodate more patrons once the bar program launches.

"I think it will complete us," said Garrett.

In local accolade news, two Boiseans were recently named 2015 James Beard Award Semifinalists. Chef Nate Whitley of The Modern Hotel and Bar was nominated in the Best Chef Northwest category, while baker Mike Runsvold of Acme Bakeshop got a nod in the Outstanding Baker category. Restaurant and Chef Award finalists will be announced Tuesday, March 24, and the winners will be honored at an awards gala in Chicago Monday, May 4.

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