Hope you’re hungry, Meridian.
Fresh restaurant action is on the menu in Idaho’s second-largest city. There will be fun, local breakfast food. And “tropical-inspired” dishes. Even some California burger chain that serves Double-Doubles.
Here are some of the new dining options planned in 2023 — and, unfortunately for our growling stomachs, possibly beyond.
The list starts here. This California fast-food icon is Idaho’s most wished-for, begged-for, sought-after restaurant chain. In-N-Out’s much-anticipated Meridian restaurant, which will include a drive-thru (and cars stretching into infinity), is slated to be at The Village — specifically, at 3520 E. Fairview Ave.
▪ When will it open? It’s projected for late fall 2023, according to Village at Meridian General Manager Hugh Crawford. “As of today, that’s the target,” he said in an email. Still, in today’s world of supply-chain issues, don’t be shocked if that date (or any date in this article) gets bumped.
▪ Boise bonus: If you live in the City of Trees, your time is coming. In-N-Out also is planning a restaurant where Pier 1 Imports used to be near Boise Towne Square mall — at 140 N. Milwaukee St.
Biscuit & Hogs
A growing, relatively new Idaho brand, Biscuit & Hogs plans to open its first out-of-state restaurant in Ogden, Utah, soon. But it’s also expanding at home with a second Meridian restaurant — in the Orchard Park development at Chinden Boulevard and Linder Road. Proudly telling customers to “release your inner pig,” Biscuit & Hogs lures folks with familiar yet creative food, and heaping portions. Google describes it as a place “for pork belly bacon and glazed maple chicken served with biscuits, eggs and home fries.”
▪ When? The Orchard Park restaurant is aiming for June, according to owner Boomer Godsill.
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
If you’re a Kneaders fan, you probably remember it at 3450 N. Eagle Road — until last year. That building now is a Dave’s Hot Chicken. Don’t fret, though. The Utah-based brand isn’t done with Meridian. A new Kneaders restaurant is being built in the Orchard Park development and should debut in 2023. The bakery is slated to feature a new interior design created in celebration of Kneaders’ 25th anniversary.
▪ When? “Unfortunately, due to construction delays there is no set reopen date,” Chief of Staff Robin Wilson said in an email. “We are thinking it will be in the second quarter … but there is nothing set in stone quite yet. We are excited to be back in the area serving our guests! We have missed everyone!”
The Dalton Royal
It started out as The Oasis, with plans to bring nightclub energy to the busy corner of Eagle and Ustick roads. But the project has evolved into The Dalton Royal, 3161 E. Ustick Road, which calls itself “Meridian’s most exciting restaurant and entertainment experience.” Options will include “a world tour of tropical-inspired cuisine, available into late night,” the website says. And an array of pool tables, creating a “perfect hangout spot.” The Dalton Royal offers “local musicians” and “dueling pianos.” Local comedians are part of the plan, too.
▪ When? Owner Brian Tsai is hoping for early February, he said.
Jamba / Auntie Anne’s
Although The Dalton Royal will take up the majority of the building at 3161 E. Ustick Road, there’s another, smaller suite. It will be filled by two restaurant brands: Jamba and Auntie Anne’s. Jamba is known for “on-the-go freshly blended fruit and vegetable smoothies, made-to-order bowls, fresh-squeezed juices and shots, boosts and bites,” according to a media release. Auntie Anne’s? It’s the home of “the original fresh baked pretzel.”
▪ When? The location is slated to open in March, according to the brands’ PR and communications manager.
Bring on the breadsticks! If you’ve driven through the Orchard Park development, you already know that Olive Garden is on the way. A building is under construction at 1399 W. Chinden Blvd. The Italian-American restaurant chain is a favorite for its “never-ending refills” of soup, salad and soft, addictive breadsticks.
▪ When? The restaurant is on track to open Feb. 27, according to Olive Garden’s corporate media contact.
Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery
When Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery shuttered in Boise five years ago, it was the end of an era in Boise. Now the California-based chain is poised for an Idaho rebirth. Famous for its fresh-made pies, Marie Callender’s is slated to open at 2325 E. Fairview Ave., according to representatives of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce and commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates. The new store would fill vacant space in a building that houses Hotworx and Active Chiropractic at The Shops at Pine 43.
▪ When? The expectation is this year, but negotiations remain.
Stella’s Ice Cream
Since opening its first location in Nampa in 2018, this local brand has grown into an ice cream force with “every batch made from scratch.” It has four locations across the Treasure Valley, plus a new one in Twin Falls. More are coming, including a Meridian store at 1492 N. Webb Way in fresh construction at The Shops at Pine 43. “We’ll have the coffee, the doughnuts, the baked goods, the ice cream,” franchise owner Travis Richey said. “That’ll be a monster store.” It will include a drive-thru window, 12 outdoor seats and 24 more seats inside.
▪ When? The goal is May 1, Richey said.
Maddie’s Wine, Whiskey & Tapas
Welp, you’ve reached this article’s “wish we knew more” finale. Who is Maddie? What will the wine list be like? Will there be other booze besides whiskey? No clue. But there’s a banner hanging at the corner of Fairview Avenue and North Lakes Place.
▪ When? “Coming soon,” the banner promises. The dirt lot at 835 E. Fairview Ave. suggests not that soon.
This story was originally published January 26, 2023 4:00 AM.