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Biz Buzz: New classic family diner opening in Idaho Falls

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The Kerbs family poses for a photo shortly after purchasing the building at 688 North Holmes Avenue in Idaho Falls in September. | Courtesy Devon Kerbs

Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

Bacon & Bleu Family Restaurant providing classic American dining for customers in eastern Idaho

Bacon & Bleu Family Restaurant will open at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – If you have a taste for classic American dining, then Bacon & Bleu Family Restaurant may be a place you want to try.

The diner is opening Thursday, Dec. 17 in the 5,600-square-foot space formerly occupied by Bushido’s Japanese Steak House and Sushi at 688 North Holmes Avenue in Idaho Falls.

Co-owner Devon Kerbs tells EastIdahoNews.com they’re “super encouraged” by the community response on Facebook.

“It’s a little bit of a dream for us,” Kerbs says. “We’re excited for people to try the food and we think we can provide an experience that maybe Idaho Falls is missing.”

The menu will include popular favorites such as burgers, fresh-cut fries, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, salads and several pasta dishes. Freshly-made homemade root beer will be on tap as well, along with several dessert items like a giant cookie cooked in a cast-iron skillet and topped off with ice cream.

The item Kerbs is most excited about is the Stuffed Bacon & Blue cheeseburger (from which the restaurant gets its name), a popular item he offered at a restaurant he used to own in Shelley.

Kerbs may be a familiar name for folks in Shelley. He and his wife, Ronnie, were the people behind many community theater productions at the Virginia Theatre downtown. Lazy D’s was a restaurant that was part of the theater for several years. (They sold the theatre to Ronnie’s brother in 2017, which he turned into a haunted attraction.)

RELATED | WATCH: Here’s what happened when we went through a haunted theatre

In addition to that, Devon worked in the oil fields in North Dakota for about 10 years. The constant back-and-forth eventually took its toll and prompted the couple to make a change.

“We wanted to do something we loved rather than something we had to do,” Devon says.

Devon has enjoyed cooking his entire life and he wanted to open a restaurant. The building on Holmes, which has been vacant since 2014, caught Devon’s eye.

“I’ve been driving by this building for many years and it’s just been closed and I’ve seen the weeds grow up around it. I always thought it a shame the building was not being used,” Kerbs says.

He was perusing Facebook marketplace recently and happened to notice the building was for sale. He reached out to the owner and things just seemed to fall into place, he says.

“The owner made us a really great deal and we saw the potential. We decided to latch on and go for it,” he says.

Kerbs and his wife purchased the building from the previous owner in September. A 3-month renovation project quickly got underway, which many have been following on Facebook. Kerbs is hoping to incorporate a dinner theater component in the near future by adding stage and performance space.

Now that the opening date is finally here, Kerbs says they’re looking forward to serving customers.

“Everything is spaced out really nice (to prevent the spread of COVID-19),” he says. “The seating is going to be very comfortable.”

An official grand opening is slated for sometime in January. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday with a 10 p.m. closing time Friday and Saturday.

Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Ronnie Kerbs, second from left, with her employees as they prepare for opening day. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

BIZ BITS

New report ranks Pocatello second most inclusive city in Idaho

POCATELLO – Pocatello has again been recognized on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
“The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are (for) LGBTQ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality,” according to the HRC. Pocatello scored a 71 on the 2020 edition, placing the Gate City in second for Idaho. Rounding out the top three in the Gem State were Boise in first with a score of 75 and Moscow in third with a score of 69. The HRC rated 506 cities nationwide. The average score was 64. Click here to see the full report.

Custom hairbow art business opens in Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT – A custom hairbow and art business opened in Blackfoot last month. Kassy Hughes is the owner of Bottlecap Hairbows, which she operates out of her home. She makes a variety of products, including necklaces, bracelets, keychains, magnets, safety pins, earrings, rings, hair bows, puzzle mosaics, diamond art, sand art, scratch art, tissue paper art, suncatchers and melty beads. Items are custom-made for customers. Orders can be placed via credit card, Venmo, Paypal, Facebook or mail shipments. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Costco introduces new brand of dog treats in Idaho Falls and Pocatello

IDAHO FALLS – If you’re looking for a gift for your dog this Christmas, Costco is now offering a new brand of dog treats. It’s called Shameless Pets and comes in a variety of flavors. The product line is made from upcycled ingredients, meaning food that typically gets thrown out. CEO James Bello was inspired to create the product after doing extensive research on the food industry. He used to work as a corporate food buyer with Target and he witnessed firsthand how much food went unused in stores every week. He later discovered more than 63 million tons of food nationwide is thrown out every year. His research lead him to Alex, a product developer, who was just as concerned about waste as he was. The two went to work to try and figure out a way to change it. It wasn’t long before they discovered another trait they had in common. Both of them owned a dog and were huge dog lovers. Bello tells EastIdahoNews.com a lot of the unused food had ingredients that weren’t aesthetically pleasing but had nutritional value for dogs. They determined it could be used to create a nutritious dog treat. Shameless Pets was launched in 2017 and has continued to grow. The products were introduced in Costco stores throughout the Pacific Northwest last week, including in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. The brand includes three different product lines. One of them is a soft-baked dog biscuit with nine different flavors. There are also four flavors of jerky bites and four flavors of dental sticks to help with bad breath. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.

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If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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