It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 400 days since the last plate sized pancake was served at McCall’s legendary Pancake House. Now, we’re just days from something new calling 209 N 3rd Street home. 

After 43 delicious years, the Pancake House closed its doors for the last time on December 5, 2021. Bonnie and George Bertram, the longtime owners, put the restaurant on the market in 2018 as a step toward retiring. They hoped that they would eventually find a buyer that would carry on the popular restaurant’s legacy. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Initially, the Godsill Company, which owns and operates the Original Sunrise Cafe, Biscuit & Hogs and the Brunchette locations in Boise were interested in the property but it didn’t work out. They ended up securing a location closer to Payette Lake for their “Brunchette on the Lake” restaurant. 

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In the Bertrams’ farewell to customers, Bonnie said that they did not know what the buyer was planning on using the property for. Shortly after, our friends at BoiseDev discovered what was in the works for the location through public records. It was purchased by a company responsible for building Natural Grocers stores. Last June, we independently confirmed with a representative from Natural Grocers that construction for a location in McCall was a go. 

After some delays, the Colorado based grocery store will welcome guests for the first time just days before the 2023 Winter Carnival. They’re immediately trying to do good in their new community by starting the grand opening celebration on Wednesday, January 18 with a $2,500 donation to the Heartland Hunger & Resource Center, a food bank serving the McCall area. The store will open at 8:30 a.m. following the presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Heartland Hunger & Resource Center will also be the beneficiary for the grocery chain’s “Bring Your Own Bag” program that they run at all of their stores. When you use your own bags, Natural Grocers donates five cents per shopping trip to a local beneficiary. At their Boise store, the Idaho Food Bank is the beneficiary of the same program. 

With the addition of McCall, Natural Grocers will own five stores in Idaho. Their other four stores are in Boise, Coeur D’Alene, Hailey and Idaho Falls. 

Store Met With Some Criticism

When the McCall Stars News published an article about the store last February, the owner of McCall’s local natural foods store, Huckleberry Garden Health Food Store, shared it on Facebook asking if this is what the community really wanted. Many of those who responded felt like the city had left the local residents out of the decision making process. 

Several people pointed out that McCall, population of 3,568, is already supported by two major grocery chains. Albertsons is .8 miles from the new store. Ridley’s is .3 miles away. 

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