Shopping Small: Two Bodegas Make Plans to Open in Boise 

click to enlarge Co-owner Taylor Hunt anticipates construction on Bodega Boise will begin Sept. 1. - CHRIS DWYER, CTA
  • Chris Dwyer, CTA
  • Co-owner Taylor Hunt anticipates construction on Bodega Boise will begin Sept. 1.
While shopping at bodegas—small grocery stores in urban areas—is an institution that borders on a way of life in larger cities, the two cropping up in Boise will be the start of a new phenomenon for the City of Trees.

Last July, BoiseDev.com reported that Boise local Josh Davis had filed with the Secretary of State to open JD's Bodega at 161 N. Capitol Blvd., across the busy thoroughfare from City Hall. Coming in at just under 2,000 square feet, the proposal included space for a prep kitchen, walk-in coolers and seating for patrons. Though Davis couldn't be reached for comment, Instagram posts as recent at June 28 show that the buildout is coming along well, and online job postings indicate the search for staff is underway.

COURTESY BODEGA BOISE
  • Courtesy Bodega Boise
Meanwhile, a new contender has arrived on the scene: Bodega Boise, which is planned for the Kount building on the corner of 10th and Main streets and set to open Nov. 1, 2018. Taylor Hunt, who co-owns Bodega Boise with his mother, Dianne, said the idea came from a need to fill a shopping void in his own life.

"Basically my struggle was that we didn't have anywhere to shop just for small things that we maybe forgot at Albertsons or whatever," said Hunt. "I spent a lot of time in New York and San Francisco, so my concept was basically a small urban market that does have groceries and household products, toilet paper, those kinds of things in relatively small packages and quantities."

In addition to necessities like toothbrushes and makeup, Bodega Boise's 1,800-square-foot space will include reach-in refrigerators stocked with healthy grab-and-go items like salads and wraps, as well as beer and other snacks for the late-night bar crowd. Plans also include a "fast coffee" counter specializing in quick-pour drinks, pinball machines for the Boise High lunch crowd and a roll-up garage door that will open out onto sidewalk seating for those who'd like to sip non-alcoholic drinks and chow down on snacks without leaving the shop.

click to enlarge Bodega Boise is planned as an indoor-outdoor space. - CHRIS DWYER, CTA
  • Chris Dwyer, CTA
  • Bodega Boise is planned as an indoor-outdoor space.
Though he's eager to begin customizing the space, Hunt said the entire Kount building needs to be finished before construction on Bodega Boise can begin—hence the Nov. 1 opening date.

"We've been kind of playing around with this concept for about four years," Hunt said. "We almost were going to use another spot about two years ago but that kind of fell through. But with this recent explosion in growth, we just though it was the time." 
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