Eureka! They have found Boise.
The upscale, burger/craft beer/small-batch whiskey restaurant will fill the Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt vacancy in The Mode building on Eighth Street.
Until recently known as Eureka Gourmet Burger, Eureka! is a “family” of 16 burger restaurants, founded in 2009, mostly located in the greater orbit of Los Angeles.
Headquartered with a test kitchen restaurant at the small, general aviation Hawthorne Airport not far from LAX, Eureka! right now has just three locations outside California – in the Seattle University District, in Dallas and in Austin.
Eureka! largely revolves around obvious – and less obvious – university towns. Eureka! is in the California cities of Berkeley, San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and also Fresno and Bakersfield. A Boulder, Colo. store is coming soon. The Boise store is expected to open in August after $1 million to $2 million in tenant improvements.
“I’m a Fresno native,” Eureka! co-founder Paul Frederick said. “You have to drive through Bakersfield to get to L.A.”
Co-founder Justin Nedelman’s wife, Sarah Conrad, is from Boise, and one of Frederick’s best friends moved to Boise eight years ago. Frederick has had an eye on Boise for Eureka! for about five years, waiting for the right space on Eighth Street that he found with the assistance of Colliers International.
Frederick prefers to describe Eureka! as a “family of restaurants” rather than a chain.
“What makes Eureka! fun is we are very good at localizing what we do,” Frederick said. “All our restaurants are different. We are working with Freak Alley (in Boise). We’ll take Freak Alley inside the restaurant.”
Freak Alley is a downtown Boise vacant lot where the neighboring walls are decorated with expansive murals that are replaced each year.
The Eureka Gourmet Burger was dropped because Frederick and Nedelman didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a burger place. Eureka! also offers soups, salads, a taco bar and signature dishes such as lemongrass pork sandwiches and fried chicken sliders in what Frederick likes to describe as “all-American comfort food.”
Eureka! builds its reputation as much on serving craft beer and small-batch whiskey as it does hamburgers.
The Boise Eureka! will have 40 craft beers on tap with a “very good percentage of them local,” Frederick said. He also plans to have 50 small-batch whiskey brands from distillers who bottle less than 10,000 bottles a year.
“We started six years ago when brown spirits were just gaining traction,” Frederick said about the focus on whiskey. “It’s coming back.”
Frederick and Nedelman launched Eureka Gourmet Burger at the depth of the recession in 2009, first in Redlands in southern California’s Inland Empire and then in Frederick’s hometown of Fresno.
“We were connecting with people in tough times,” he said. “We want to stick with tradition. Let us take care of you. The experience is a great value.”