BLACKFOOT – The Teton House restaurant came to Blackfoot in a whirlwind last year and looked like it would quickly become a local favorite. However, just as quickly as it arrived, it went away in December. Now, they are working to return to Blackfoot, but in a more historic part of town.
Owner and operator Leo Hancock along with engineer Zac Filmore addressed members of the Blackfoot Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) Tuesday morning regarding a potential business location in Blackfoot just south of City Hall that currently houses the New Frontier, a bar owned and operated by a private company, and Hancock has been in contact with them regarding purchasing the location along with the liquor license.
In previous discussion, it was believed that the Teton House was exploring the option of leasing space in the historic Milmor Hotel building, but after discussions and potential other possibilities, Hancock decided that acquiring a liquor license along with purchasing instead of leasing would be the better option for him, so he had designs drawn.
Filmore presented to the members of BURA the concept of the location, including how the space of the three parcels in the purchase plan would be utilized. The basement would be used for storage because it would not be safe to use it for much of anything else as well as leaving the apartments above the bar location as is. They have no intention of using renovation funds on space that cannot be utilized for economic growth.
Hancock explained to the members of BURA that his plan of going forth with attempting to obtain the property from the current owners hinged on BURA supporting the idea. After the support was established, the discussion turned to finances.
Filmore noted that the total cost of the facades, blight and economic development would be a total of $1.5 million. The amount requested from BURA would be one-third of the total cost for all renovations, blight removal, and facade updates. Chairman Scott Reese asked about the location being multiple parcels, which the response would be affirmed, meaning that BURA would recuperate funds from any grants provided on three taxable properties rather than one.
BURA members also asked Hancock why he chose Blackfoot for his second restaurant, and he replied that he wanted to anchor himself between Pocatello and Idaho Falls to provide more reasons for people to come to Blackfoot to enjoy what it has to offer as well as providing a more white-collar-like establishment when it comes to quality, but not make the farmer coming off of the field uncomfortable in coming in with their farm clothes on.
Hancock said he wants to create an inviting location for all to enjoy while offering a different meal experience in town.
The BURA members expressed appreciation for his business and feel that his restaurant would provide a good anchor for the historic downtown part of Blackfoot. Following discussion they voted in favor of approving the grants, with the contingencies of Hancock securing the property from the current owners as well as a financial report for expected expenditures.