Surprise! Something New is Already Moving Into This Sad, Empty Boise Restaurant
At the end of March, we were pretty stunned to see that the sign for one of our favorite lunch destinations had vanished overnight. We barely had time to let the shock wear off before a new one appeared!
We made that initial discovery during our regular Friday commute on March 31 and half expected to find out the Naked Fins sign was missing because of high winds in the area. We pulled into the parking to do a little more investigating. That’s when we discovered this sign on the door and a similar message on their website:
Based on chatter in the popular Boise Food Finds Facebook Group, it appeared that March 29 was the last day for the restaurant that was once predicted to be “a stale in Boise’s ever-expanding culinary lifestyle.”
The restaurant is close to our office and we’ve patronized everything that’s been in the past 13 years. We were frequent flyers at the Subway restaurant that called 1120 S. Broadway Avenue home before Naked Fins. We’d stop into Naked Fins for a Mango Crab Roll at least once, if not twice, a week. Naturally, we were curious how soon the “near future” would was and in what capacity they’d be serving customers.
And now we know. Earlier this week, we noticed a new sign had gone up!
It looks like the company behind the restaurant applied for building permits to remodel the restaurant for the first time on March 30. The work included the removal of old kitchen equipment, installation of a new kitchen hood, repairs and new rooftop equipment. That paperwork was originally filed under the name Naked Fins, but the record has since been updated to the “Zen Baja” name. They also applied for a permit to install the sign on March 29 and that one WAS filed under the restaurant's new name.
It appears the remodel and rebrand has been an idea that was in the works for a while. The Idaho Secretary of State’s website shows the initial filing for “Zen Baja LLC” was filed on January 25, 2023.
Naked Fins’ old website now redirects to Zenbaja.com and the landing page lets guests know that the new restaurant hopes to open this spring. The website and sign both say that they’ll serve bowls, sushi rolls and tacos…which sounds very similar to the old concept, so we can’t wait to see how they mix it up.
Hopefully, that Mango Crab Roll will return to the menu! When Zen Baja opens, it will join this already growing list of new Boise area businesses that welcomed customers for the first time in 2023.