Redesigning Garden City

By Scott Ki & Linda Whittig / Photography By Gabriel Border | June 15, 2016
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Powderhaus Brewing Company

In the past few months, new breweries, wine tasting rooms and bakeries have popped up in Garden City. Four of these new locations not only offer tasty craft food and drink, they also emphasize interesting design. From Powderhaus Brewing on one end to Telaya Wine Co./Coiled Wines on the other, and with Meriwether Cider and Wildflour Bakery in-between, Garden City is sporting an updated look.

Garden City officials have embraced craft food and drink makers—hoping to bring a little design edginess to the community. “It is a conscious effort on the part of the city and it really started with the [2006] Comprehensive Plan, looking to target artisans and to increase livability within the city,” says Jenah Thornborrow, Garden City’s director of development services. “The city is hoping to encourage new construction where it lends itself more to a place where people want to be rather than a pass-through city.”

It may be hard to imagine among the mobile homes and strip malls that dot its topography but Garden City once thrived with abundant farmland worked by Chinese immigrants, who supplied Boise residents with fresh produce, according to the Association of Idaho Cities. These agricultural roots eventually gave way to a city that housed gambling dens and, more recently, bars and restaurants that allowed smoking indoors. With its checkered past, it seems only fitting that a town originally named after Chinese gardens has come full circle to embrace food and drink purveyors—along with aesthetic design—as a means to reinvent itself as a destination.


Commuters driving on Chinden Blvd. near the western edge of Garden City can’t miss the towering grain silo with “Powderhaus” emblazoned in bold, block capital letters. The silo stands guard over a metal and wood warehouse that evokes an industrial rustic look.

The 8,500-square-foot facility provides ample space for the production of nearly a dozen beers as well as a tasting room and creekside garden. Handmade wooden doors standing 14 feet tall greet visitors as they make their way inside. In keeping with the sporting lodge theme, skis, poles, snowshoes, rod and reel hang on the walls along with taxidermied deer and buffalo heads.

The Schmidt family, which owns and operates Powderhaus, has used reclaimed materials throughout including lighting from the old Rodeway Inn and a urinal in the men’s room crafted from a beer keg. Lisa, the family matriarch, says, “It’s all about getting outside—skiing, fishing, kayaking, hiking or whatever you’re doing to enjoy Idaho, and then coming back at the end of the day to enjoy a great beer.”

9719 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City
Open M–TH 3–10pm, F–Sa noon–10pm,
Su noon–7pm

Telaya Wine Company


On the eastern edge of Garden City sits the new 12,000-square-foot building that's home to Telaya Wine Company and Coiled Wines. The look is industrial, but more refined than rustic. It also blends in well with some of its neighbors in the Surel Mitchell Live/Work/Create District.

Sitting on the patio in the morning sun, Owner and Winemaker Earl Sullivan motions to the Greenbelt and Boise River and says, “It’s hard to beat.” Fitting in with the surrounding environment was paramount to Earl and his wife, Carrie, when designing the new space. Beige and at least three different shades of gray coat the exterior, accented by reddish-brown wood beams and trim, and floor to ceiling windows. Other touches include Frank Lloyd Wright–style entry lights and an interior filled with metal and wood tables and chairs.

240 E. 32nd St., Garden City
Telaya Wine Company Tasting Room:
Tasting room open daily noon–6pm or by appointment
Coiled Wines Tasting Room:
Tasting room open daily noon–6pm or by appointment

Meriwether Cider Company


Meriwether Cider Company is a familyowned business exuding an industrial rustic vibe. “One of the reasons we chose Garden City was the emerging craft beverage industry here,” says Molly Leadbetter, while filling a growler for a customer.

Ann and Gig Leadbetter, along with daughters Molly and Kate, opened the doors to their new tasting room in the 1,900- square-foot space vacated when the owners of Crooked Fence Brewing relocated to Crooked Flats in Eagle. The Leadbetters kept the concrete floors but removed an interior wall to open up the space, added handmade pine tables, plywood wainscoting and a red wall that bursts in contrast to the bluish-gray ones. Highlights of the interior are a wall filled with antique farm implements and a bar made from circular cross sections of trees.

5242 Chinden Blvd., Garden City
Open Th 4–8pm, F 4–9pm, Sa noon–9pm
and Su 2–6pm

Wildflour Bakery and Coffee


Mary Cogswell, owner of Wildflour Bakery, had a vision of a black metal building with reclaimed barnwood over the entryway and shared this idea with architect Cathy Sewell. Working within the constraints of a small, narrow lot, Sewell designed the new 2,000- square-foot facility.

The bakery and coffee bar stands in stark contrast with a few mobile home neighbors, but plays off the basic warehouse shape of surrounding businesses. Inside, an L-shaped walk-up counter that displays baked goods for sale fronts a Simonelli espresso machine. A high table and a few chairs supplement the modest space and tall windows allow natural light to flow in while offering customers a view of life on 42nd Street.

304 E. 42nd St., Garden City
Open M–F 7am–1pm, Sa 8am–noon

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