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The Grove unveils new restaurant, bar and lobby area

Diners gather at the community table at the newly opened Trillium restaurant. Photo by Steve Sinovic.

Downtown Boise has a new restaurant focusing on the state’s homegrown bounty and adult beverages.

The Grove Hotel’s new restaurant is called Trillium – named after a lily-type plant common in the western U.S. – and it recently opened in the former space of Emilio’s, the hotel’s longtime fine-dining eatery.

The Grove invested in a new look for its lobby and signature restaurant to compete in Downtown’s growing hospitality market, hotel officials said.

“It was time to raise the bar,” said General Manager Steve Steading of the “multi-million-dollar” renovation of its lobby and bar area, and reconfiguring and renaming its restaurant, which temporarily decamped to the sports zone area while construction was underway.

The naming process started with 85 suggested monikers. The hotel’s executive team knocked that down to three finalists – Trillium, Boulevard 245 and Petrichor. The latter refers to the scent that comes in the air before a storm.

Trillium was the clear favorite, said Steading, referring to the white, three-petal flowering plant.

As the entire construction project was progressing, guest occupancy still ran 80-90 percent, said Steading of the property, which is one of the two four-star hotels in the Downtown core.

Although the hotel’s primary efforts is to focus on the guest room experience, Steading said on-site food and beverage venues and offerings can drive significant revenue for hotels like The Grove.

While it’s hoped that leisure and business travelers overnighting at the Grove will  patronize Trillium, which recently held its grand opening, Steading said the hotel is also targeting locals for its breakfast, lunch and dinner trade.

“I see businesses wanting to bring their customers here,” he said. “We envision people going to concerts or other events and eating at Trillium,” said Steading.

The newly remodeled lobby bar at The Grove is seen. Photo by Steve Sinovic.

The Grove has brought on additional staff, in part to accommodate added operational hours in the lobby coffee bar, the bar and restaurant.

General contractor on the project was Boise-based Zelham. The architect was CSHQA in Boise, and the designer was Ann Jackson with Jackson & Co. Design from Billings, Montana.

Still holding down the fort on the food side is Executive Chef Chris Hain. He said Trillium’s menu is focused on using locally inspired, regionally sourced products for its breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings.

Dinner entrees include favorites like Huckleberry-marinated short ribs, which were also on Emilio’s menu; braised pork shank; bronzed steelhead trout; and potato-crusted halibut. Starters, salads and sandwiches round out the menu.

Guests are encouraged to take a ride on the courtesy bikes in the lobby. Photo by Steve Sinovic.

There’s also lighter menu fare at the bar to complement the many Idaho-made beers and wines on offer.

The dining area at Trillium has fewer seats, but “a more purposeful layout” with community tables and banquettes, said Steading. There’s also a private dining room.

In the coming year, Trillium will also have an outdoor dining area on Capitol Boulevard.

Also on the horizon: Steading said the hotel is looking at a being a potential venue for a future Treefort Music Fest.

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