By Holly Beech firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Sky Bagels is expanding to downtown Meridian this summer, owner Mark Hansen said. The bagel shop will be in the former Preece’s Designer Chocolates site at 126 E. Idaho Ave., just down the road from Frankie’s Java, a new coffeehouse and restaurant that opens today.
“I’m excited about the rejuvenation of that area and would love to be a part of it,” Hansen told the Meridian Press. He owns three other Blue Sky Bagels in Boise and Meridian.
Hansen pointed to the fresh energy that people like Josh Evarts, an artist and property developer who recently opened the Vault on Idaho Avenue, are bringing to downtown Meridian. Plus, having Frankie’s Java next door will likely be a benefit, Hansen said.
“I’ve seen bagel shops do really well right next to coffee shops,” he said.
Hansen plans to open the new shop in July or August, creating about eight new jobs. The downtown site will be smaller than the others and won’t have a bakery, so fresh bagels will be brought in a few times a day from the Blue Sky Bagels on Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue, Hansen said.
Idaho Avenue will get a new, temporary look this summer to make it more patio-friendly and inviting to foot traffic, thanks to efforts by the Meridian Development Corporation and downtown Meridian businesses and property owners.
Hansen said he’s excited about the Idaho Avenue project and hopes to see more businesses move into downtown Meridian to make it more of a destination.
“I like the feel of downtown as opposed to going out on Meridian Road next to the interstate and just being part of a strip mall,” Hansen said. “I’d rather be in more neighborhood feeling places. And we try to be a great part of the community and give back to schools and charities.”