New stores, Santa at the Boise Towne Square Mall

I'm a little late getting to these, but the mall has a few new shops. (Not counting H&M, whose grand opening is Nov. 21.) Also, Santa arrives at the mall this Saturday at 10 a.m. with Mrs. Claus at his side.

  • Oakley opened in mid-October and is the first Oakley store in Idaho. It's on the upper level across from Starbucks.
  • Candy Moon is a retro candy shop on a cart outside of the Apple store. They're selling candy cigarettes, novelty lip gloss, U-NO bars and other treats.
  • Hickory Farms, one of the mall's holiday staples, is now located on the upper level near Kohl's. They're selling meats, summer sausage, cheese, crackers, mints and gift sets.

The mall is hosting a series of kids' activities and events with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and holiday events for grown-ups. Check for details.

Luciano's Italian restaurant coming to the Bench

In case you missed it, Dana Oland reported that a new Italian eatery opens this month on Orchard Street north of the Franklin Road shopping center. Check out Dana's story for menu, hours and other details. They'll also have a drive-through window and pizza by the slice. The building has been a sports bar and Mexican restaurant in the past.

New McDonald's restaurant at Eagle Island Marketplace opens Nov. 12

A new McDonald's restaurant will opening Monday, Nov. 12, at 1460 W. Chinden Blvd. in the Eagle Island Marketplace. The restaurant owned and operated by Boise-based Darmody Enterprises will have a double-lane drive-through window, plasma large-screen television and free wi-fi. The restaurant will employ about 60 people.

The grand opening on Nov. 12 includes:

  • a contest to win a camcorder/camera
  • special prices on hamburgers, cheeseburgers and Egg McMuffins
  • free drink samples
  • free coffee for active-duty and retired military with ID

Photo Friday: Unexpected finds in local stores

My favorite part of grocery shopping is when I stumble across something unexpected.

Once, I found a pre-packaged hot dog in a bun, and it blew my mind. It was like a Lunchable taken to the extreme. (Now, I'm not judging. There are times when I've been so exhausted/rushed/lazy at dinnertime that I yearned for that hot dog.)

Here are a few recent finds from Boise. Share yours in the comments!

Frozen PB&Js:

Emergency brownie mix:

Retailers donating to breast cancer causes this month

The Statesman went pink this week — if you missed it, check out our coverage in the newspaper with sports, features, advice from St. Luke's and from Saint Alphonsus and two first-person stories, and in Business Insider with our profile of local employers supporting the effort.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and local retailers are donating proceeds to help cure and prevent the disease. Here's a list of some of them:

  • Apricot Lane Boutique at the Boise Towne Square mall is giving a $5 coupon to customers who make in-store donations of $1 to the Breast Cancer Society, throughout the month of October. They're throwing a pink party Saturday, Oct. 20 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with 25 percent off the entire store, refreshments and raffles. The boutique also is selling a line of pink bracelets from which 50 percent of net profits will go to the Breast Cancer Society.
  • Business Interiors of Idaho is raffling off a Haworth Lively ergonomic task chair. All proceeds go to the local Susan G. Komen affiliate. The chair retails for $429, and tickets are $1 each, no limit on how many you can buy. Enter by Oct. 31 at their showroom on South Capitol between Main and Grove streets in Boise.
  • The Human Bean coffee shops will donate all proceeds from Oct. 19 sales to the local Susan G. Komen affiliate.
  • Dutch Bros. coffee shops are selling $12 pink travel mugs filled with a drink of choice all through October and donating proceeds to breast cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured women.
  • Master Cuts in the Boise Towne Square mall is giving 10 percent of its Oct. 13 haircut proceeds to the Regis Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
  • At the Boise Towne Plaza, Ulta Beauty is having a breast cancer awareness cut-a-thon Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They're giving a free haircut and shampoo for every donation of $10 or more.
  • Graeber & Co. salon and spa will donate a portion of proceeds from Pink Ribbon Hand Relief to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Know of any others? Please comment below or send me an email.

Boise Co-op grand re-opening this weekend

After getting a mega-facelift, the Boise Co-op is having a grand re-opening celebration noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in its parking lot at the corner of 8th and Fort streets.

There will be live music, wine and beer tasting, giveaways and samples. For kids, they'll have activities, a bounce house and baby goats. Anyone who rides a bike to the party or brings a coat to donate will get an extra giveaway ticket. The details:

  • The main store is celebrating its multiphase remodel, with local vendors handing out samples throughout the store.
  • The Wine Shop celebrates its fifth year by taking 15 percent off most purchases of six or more bottles. They'll also give away a wine cooler, several magnum bottles and a bicycle.
  • The brand-new Co-op Pet Shop will have the Idaho Humane Society there with pets for adoption and local vets. The pet shop will give away a year's supply of pet food, two training classes and treat baskets.

Amigo's Mexican Restaurant is back in business in Boise

Amigo's Mexican Restaurant closed its doors at 29th and State in Boise several months ago. But it's reopened across the street in a strip mall at 2919 W. State St.

The restaurant had its grand opening last Friday, and owner Gil Portocarrero estimated about 300 people came through. I noticed the restaurant had opened and stopped in a few minutes before closing time that night, craving a dish of fried ice cream — I ended up getting the flan — and the place was still hoppin'.

When I talked to Gil, he was beyond excited about his new digs. Anyone who visited the old restaurant will notice the addition of the wide open kitchen, plentiful seating and colorful paint.

Visit the Amigo's Mexican Restaurant Facebook page for updates.

What happened to the old Amigo's building? It's now the home of Pacific Rim Wine Stop, a wine, beer and grab-and-go food shop that specializes in fusion cuisine from around the Pacific.

Know of any retailers (stores, restaurants, salons, etc.) donating proceeds to breast cancer?

I'm putting together a blog post to spotlight local retailers who are donating their October proceeds to breast cancer research and prevention efforts. If you know of any businesses doing this, please comment below or email me at They can be restaurants, salons, coffee shops, clothing stores, fast food franchises, auto repair shops... any locally owned retail business. Help me get the word out!

1348532428 Know of any retailers (stores, restaurants, salons, etc.) donating proceeds to breast cancer? Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RC Willey giving cash, backpacks to Foodbank for grand reopening

RC Willey will celebrate a grand reopening of its store Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. by giving $5,000 and 1,000 backpacks to support the Idaho Foodbank's backpack program. The $5,000 will make it so that 21 children have nutritious weekend food for the entire school year, according to the Idaho Foodbank.

The RC Willey at 3301 E. Lanark in Meridian had been remodeling its exterior and electronics department.

The Boise Chamber of Commerce will be there with community leaders from Boise, Meridian and Eagle. Yogurtz in Meridian will provide frozen yogurt snacks for the public.

Halloween shops open in Ada and Canyon counties

Halloween stores are opening for the spooky season in the Treasure Valley:

  • Halloween City at 6883 Overland Road, Boise, in the Overland Park Center
  • Halloween City at 1375 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, in Stonehenge Plaza
  • Halloween Bootique in the lower level of Boise Towne Square mall in the old Champs Sports space
  • Spirit Halloween store at 60 N. Cole Road, Boise
  • Halloween Express at 16526 North Marketplace Blvd., Nampa
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