Friday, December 2, 2011

That One Place opening Monday in downtown I.F.

After more than a half-year of vacancy, the space at 552 North Capital Avenue, where Pachanga's used to be, is going to be opening Monday as That One Place.

The restaurant, which has been at 569 Third Street since opening in April, is moving downtown for better traffic and because owner Trent Walker says he wants to be part of the downtown scene. The menu focuses on sandwiches, soups, wraps and rice bowls, all fresh from scratch.

A native of Salt Lake City, Walker has been in Idaho Falls since 2001, when he came to work for Dole Fruit and Vegetable. From there, he went to work for Nicholas Foods, supplying restaurants in Idaho Falls, Driggs, Victor and Jackson, Wyo. Visiting all the restaurants that he did, he had plenty of inspiration and ideas once he started planning to open his own.

He said he is under no illusions about going into the restaurant field. "It's a tough market, but if you can find your own niche I think you can do well," he said.

The name "That One Place" came from his 16-year-old son, who'd heard his grandparents talking all the time about places they'd eaten around the world, e.g. "Remember that one place we went to in Italy?"

"He said, 'You ought to call it that,' and we liked the idea," Walker said.

The restaurant manager is Ashley Mueller. They provide catering, carryout and delivery. For more information, call 529-9804.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chick-fil-A: The Final Countdown

Thought you've seen enough of people camping out for a business opening? Get ready for Chick-fil-A's first stand-alone restaurant in Idaho, which is opening Dec. 8 at 3003 S. 25th East (Hitt Road).

The first 100 adults in line at the new restaurant will win free Chick-fil-A for a year, said Cindy Chapman, spokeswoman for CP Communications. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast.

Here are the rules: The first 100 adults in line by 6 a.m. Dec. 8, each will receive 52 free Chick-fil-A meal certificates for a year -- a total of more than $26,000 in free food being given away. But participants 18 years and older with identification can line up no earlier than 24 hours prior to the opening. In the event that there are more than 100 people lined up at 6 a.m. Dec. 7, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle.

See for complete rules.

Chick-fil-A has been doing a First 100 promotion at all grand openings for eight years, since opening a restaurant in Arizona and noticing people showing up 15 hours early. Since then, raving fans have been arriving more than 24 hours in advance, packing tents, lawn chairs, computers, TVs, couches and all kinds of gear to make their wait more comfortable and entertaining.

While it has no control over the weather, Chick-fil-A provides security, entertainment, games, and, of course, plenty of fresh Chick-fil-A.

The new Chick-fil-A restaurant, one of 90 opening this year, will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Operator Lauren Mosteller anticipates the restaurant will bring 65 new jobs to the community.
The scene outside a recent Chick-fil-A opening.

Hobby Lobby eyes opening in I.F. market

One of our readers, Annette Barber Hall, asked earlier this month whether Hobby Lobby has any plans to open a store in the Idaho Falls area.

They do, said Scott Nelson, assistant vice president of real estate. The issue is, as is common with real estate, location.

Based in Oklahoma City, Okla., Hobby Lobby’s stores are typically 55,000 square feet, Nelson said. They look for busy retail areas with a lot of traffic, and have focused their attention on the Ammon side of Hitt Road.

“There are potential opportunities on the bookends, but we like to be in the middle,” he said.

Founded in 1972, Hobby Lobby recently started construction on its 500th store, in Las Vegas, Nev. The first store there, in Henderson, has done very well. “We’re a little bit on the recession-proof side,” Nelson said. “We offer inexpensive entertainment.”

Nelson said a stand-alone market like Idaho Falls-Ammon is right up their alley. “It’s got a good population and it’s Middle America,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I.F. ranks No. 2 in national survey of places to start over

It looks like Idaho Falls has once again made it onto one of those lists that name the best places in the United States to live. This one is from, which lists the 30 Best Cities for Starting Over. One question, though: What if you've lived here for 30 years already?

We're ranked second, behind Austin, Texas. Impressive, yes? I can think of places more different, but who here wouldn't mind having a little more of what Austin has when it comes to music, food and culture?

Nevertheless, this is great press and a good piece to help promote the area.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

10%: A Pittance or a Fortune?

I have to give a talk next week at my church, St. Luke's Episcopal, about how people ought to shoot for pledging 10% of their income. In light of the shopping frenzy of the past few days, I'd like to raise a question.

If I owned a store and advertised 10% off all merchandise, how would most people take it? You and I both know it would be considered it a joke. I would have wasted my advertising dollar.

Yet when you ask people to give up 10% for the Lord in whom they profess to believe, they squeal like Justin Bieber. (I'm not letting my atheist and agnostic friends off the hook either. How many of you consider 10 percent more than enough when it comes to tipping a waiter or waitress?)

There are times when I'm dickering with someone over the price of a guitar and I feel like saying, "How 'bout if I just sell it to you at 10 percent over cost? I don't need a stupid commission. I know you don't need money, and neither do I. Better yet, how 'bout if I just give it to you? Your happiness is important to me."

God's grace, of course, is free. Unfortunately, it's a lot more abstract than a wide-screen TV.

Full disclosure: Like most people, I have thus far lacked the nerve to tithe. My church is not a place where you hear the word "should" all the time.