Over the last few weeks, several Downtown Boise Bars got the thumbs up from the same organization that shut them down in late June. Now 12 more hope to gain "specific permission" from Central District health to welcome back patrons. 

After seeing a spike in coronavirus cases shortly after Idaho entered Stage 4 of the Idaho rebounds plan, Central District Health ordered all bars and nightclubs in Ada County to close a second time. The directive came as part of Ada County's roll back to Stage 3 that went into effect on June 24. We've been stuck in Stage 3 for 70 days.

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While most bars and nightclubs are still closed, several have re-opened as restaurants including Humpin' Hannah's (now serving pizzas) and The Mode (now serving appetizers like cheese plates and "tin fish.") Closer to Boise State, Suds Tavern also re-opened after installing pizza ovens.

After seeing these Downtown Boise bars get special permission from Central District Health Director, Russell Duke, to re-open 10 other bar owners are petitioning for their right to re-open 12 bars. Central District Health will consider that petition at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday.

The petition filed by former Idaho attorney general, David Leory, lays out COVID prevention rules for both employees and patrons at the establishments if they were to re-open. Some of the guidelines in place would include:

  • Patrons being encouraged to use outdoor seating to a safe maximum extent
  • No at-bar service. Drinks will only be served to those in tables, chairs, booths and similar areas.
  • On going closures of dance floors.
  • Seating arranged for safe physical distancing between parties
  • Entry and exit through single doors that would allow for screening before entering the establishment.
  • Patrons undergoing temperature screenings upon entry. They'll also be given the opportunity to use hand sanitation products, asked about exposure to COVID positive individuals or if their experiencing symptoms.

Those failing to comply with the bar's COVID protocols will be turned away.

If the petition is accepted, the bars that would re-open include:

  • Tom Grainey's
  • Silly Birch
  • Whiskey Bar
  • The Fireside Inn
  • Atlas
  • The Torch Lounge
  • The Torch 2
  • Jim's Alibi
  • End Zone
  • Mulligans/Olympic Bar
  • The Cactus Bar
  • 8th Street Entertainment (Karma/8th Street Social Club)

Cactus Bar seems confident that the petition will be approved. They've been advertising a grand re-opening on Facebook. The countdown ends on Friday at 10 a.m.

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