Two years ago, Ochos operations manager Brett Randall took some ribbing from friends after he described the wine and dance bar’s planned back patio as “bitchin’ “ in the Idaho Statesman.
So now that construction is finally finished? Let’s find a better term — courtesy of a friendly competitor.
“It’s ****ing sick,” says Remi McManus, co-owner of Kin restaurant, which boasts a rather bitchin’ amphitheater a few blocks away.
“It’s gonna be a hit.”
Featuring live entertainment, Ochos, 515 W. Idaho St., will unveil its long-awaited outdoor haven Sept. 11-12. Drawing inspiration from Kin’s exceptional, ongoing “PiKINic” series, Ochos will offer ticketed, prepackaged events in a socially distanced environment. Customers will sip adult beverages, enjoy a musical act and dine from a modest, preset menu.
Events will be limited to 40 seats and sold in groups of two or four at $75 per person. Music will go from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
With graceful curves and high-dollar design flourishes, Ochos’ back patio is unlike anything else in downtown Boise. The way-into-six-figures project involved time-consuming construction below and above ground. Randall estimates that owner Eileen Barber invested as much into the back patio as she paid for the entire Queen Anne-style building several years ago. “It’s quite a price tag,” he says. “I think the glass awning itself was $110,000.”
There’s a figure-eight fire table and a circular fire pit. Misters will keep guests comfortable in summer. Four heaters will raise temperatures in winter. Wait, winter? Yes, this just might be a year-round hangout. And don’t bring any snow boots. “We’re geothermal-heated in the building,” he says, “so that tail end runs through the pavers in the back, too.”
Ochos’ interior will not be open for these initial patio shows, except for bathroom use. But the historic building, which has undergone extensive renovation, is ready to bust out its sprung, solid-maple dance floor when the pandemic has settled down.
Ochos ‘ patio will extend its hours soon, Randall says, opening from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays — and serving more menu items from the small kitchen. But these initial weekends will give downtown Boise a taste of what’s to come. A two-person ticket ($150) will include two types of popcorn, a can of sparkling rose that serves two, choice of two drinks per person (beer, wine or cocktail), a charcuterie board (or vegan cheese plate as an alternative) and a dessert.
McManus says he “loves” the Ochos building, which was built in 1892. In a downtown struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, this type of competition feels more like collaboration, he says.
“We are excited that the food and beverage industry in downtown Boise is growing, and believe building and reviving unique spaces like Ochos will help drive traffic and patrons to all establishments.”
Randall is clearly both relieved and excited to show off the patio. The last two years have been challenging, sometimes patience-testing and, now, rewarding.
“I don’t want to oversell it,” Randall says with a laugh, “so I’ve been trying not to call it bitchin’ yet. But I would say it’s pretty on point at this juncture.”
“I think when people get up here, they’ll feel it. They’ll know there’s a reason this took so long, and there was time and care and money put into this back patio.”