Entrepreneur Nicholas Jones will own and operate the CHOW Public Market & Eatery at the Boise Spectrum.
CHOW is expected to open in late June in a 7,200-square-foot space across from Edwards Boise Stadium 21. Jones will own four of the tenant enterprises within the market, and he has part-ownership in all the other vendor operations.
Tenants include Good Burger, owned by Jones, and Aladdin’s Egyptian Cuisine, which he co-owns with Ahmed Saad. Both eateries are also at Boise Towne Square, though Jones has no ownership of the Aladdin’s at the mall.
Jones also owns CHOW’s Something Sweet and The CHOW Market, a 450-square-foot space with assorted household items, soaps and truffles by Lisa Black, owner of Truffles, etc.
Other tenants include:
- Ratio Coffee, owned by Richard Alva, serving Iron Horse Coffee.
- The Spice House, owned by John Hileman.
- Gelato 21, owned by Amelia Jones, Nicholas Jones’ wife.
- Bar Seventeen 76, owned by Tyler Davis, an oval bar, set diagonally in the center of the market.
A commercial kitchen, The Commissary, at CHOW will offer cooking class and be openfor public use for $25 per hour or a $400 monthly subscription. CHOW will have two walk-in coolers at 115 and 123 square feet, a 103-square-foot walk-in freezer and 100 square feet of dry storage for public use.
“We will have everything: large dough mixer, two commercial ovens, fryers, griddles, fridges, freezers, ranges, everything,” Jones said.
Boise Spectrum leasing manager Matt Schirmer tapped into Boise’s food truck scene to find an operator for its 7,200-square-foot public market space across from Edwards 21. Schirmer first talked to Jones about opening a brick-and-mortar version of his Bacon on a Stick food truck. Schirmer had recently signed on the Mad Mac food truck for a restaurant space.
But Jones didn’t think brick-and-mortar would work for Bacon on a Stick.
Turns out Boise Spectrum owners D.D. Dunlap Companies and Jones independently were thinking of setting up their own public markets. Jones, however, was not ready to strike out on his own with a public market. Jones welcomed Schirmer’s offer to open Boise Spectrum’s public market..
“We needed somebody ambitious enough with the wherewithal to pull it off,” Schirmer said. “Our goal was to capture the local flair of Boise. Nicholas is someone who has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on.”
Jones lives and breathes entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship has been in Jones’ blood since he marshaled a lemonade stand at age nine. Jones has an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing from the University of Notre Dame, and he is a full-time lecturer in entrepreneurship and design thinking at Boise State University.
Jones also owns the All About Games stores in Boise, the Good Burger at Boise Towne Square, and two food trucks, Bacon on a Stick and Oriental Express. (He can teach full-time because he will have a general manager at CHOW and he has managers at all his other businesses).
After taking on the Boise Spectrum project in August, Jones traveled the country inspecting the Chelsea Market in New York City; Oxbow Public Market in Napa, California; Reading Terminal Market in Pennsylvania; Flagship Commons in Omaha, Nebraska ; West Side Market in Cleveland; and The Block in Annandale, Virginia.
“That was one of my favorites: The quality of food and there’s novelty involved in it,” Jones said of The Block.
Jones was surprised how much he did not know about public markets as he traveled.
“I thought I had 80 percent of an understanding of what public markets were and how they operated,” he said. Afterward, “I would say 20 percent. You can’t make something the best it can be without seeing what other people think is the best.”
The idea for CHOW, Jones said, is for every child and adult in a family of five to find something interesting and then gather at one of a dozen tables. CHOW will also have two stand-up tables, two lounges and outdoor seating.