Citing problems initiated by a rent increase, a family-owned Boise restaurant closed last week and exited downtown.
But a burgeoning Gem State brand will heat up the spot.
Clucks Nashville Hot Chicken is slated to be the next tenant at 345 S. 8th St. Clucks has leased the 2,274-square-foot space. After a run of nearly six years, Meraki Greek Street Food vacated the location.
An Idaho-created chain, Clucks opened its first store in Meridian last fall at 3223 E. Louise Drive, suite 100. Clucks hopes to have up to six restaurants launched by the end of next year, partner Kenneth Roek said Thursday via email.
Clucks “jumped on the opportunity” to open in the downtown Boise location, he said.
“We have been wanting to be in Boise since we opened in Meridian,” he explained. “Our goal was to open the first location in Meridian, add two locations in Boise, then go to Eagle or the other ends of Meridian by 2023.”
Clucks offers a menu of Southern-inspired fare, focusing on Nashville hot chicken in a stylish, fast-casual setting. Most recipes were created by Justin Roek, another Clucks partner.
Sandwiches and wraps ($9.99 to $10.49) are filled with chicken either deep-fried or grilled. They come stacked with cole slaw and pickles, served either on a soft, buttered bun or tucked inside a flour tortilla.
Clucks also dishes up tacos, chicken strips, chicken and waffles, salads — and hedonistic Dirty Bird Loaded Fries ($12.99), a side topped with Nashville hot chicken, queso blanco sauce and pico de gallo.
Customers dial in a heat level at Clucks by choosing from multiple sauces.
Kenneth Roek said they hope to open the new restaurant in July, “but like everything — it all depends on supply.”
The lease was signed last week, he said, adding that they had been looking for a spot for more than six months. “It’s brutal to find a reasonable rate, and reasonable landlords,” he said.
Eventually, Clucks hopes to franchise restaurants in other states.
“Clucks is going amazingly well,” Roek said. “We have been so surprised and grateful for all the support the local community has given us. … We want to have a strong foothold first here in the Treasure Valley before expanding this awesome brand anywhere else.”
Meanwhile, Meraki Greek Street Food is hunting for a new location.
In an email to media, Meraki owners Aki and Farrah Kalatzakis said they encountered “an astronomical rent increase” when their lease came up for renewal. Farrah Kalatzakis canceled an interview with the Statesman this week, but the couple told KTVB Channel 7 that the lease grew from $6,300 per month to $8,190 — and that they eventually agreed to it, but to no avail.
In a statement provided to KTVB, building owner Hendricks Commercial Properties said “the notification period for the tenant to exercise their renewal option lapsed and subsequently the tenant did not accept the renewal terms offered by our leasing team.”
This story was originally published June 2, 2022 12:20 PM.