BOISE, Idaho — A beloved local restaurant is back in business after COVID forced them to shut their doors.
Juniper quietly opened its doors for the first time in eight months Wednesday. Owner Kacey Montgomery says he wanted the soft opening to be a gentle return to the community — especially after a tough few months they had while closed.
"It's been pretty devastating for us," Montgomery said. "(But) seeing all that energy you get in a place, seeing people come in with smiles on their face, you realize how much in your heart you've been missing all that interaction with your friends."
I reopened my restaurant for the first time today in 8 months. I am tired and happy.— Kacey Montgomery (@IdahoKacey) May 6, 2021
For many of Juniper's employees, the long closure meant they were out of a job — but they're happy to finally be back.
"For the first few months I was unemployed, as well as the other staff. Some of them had to find other jobs," said Darrah Spittle, Jupiter's General Manager. "It truly feels like a family here. I had quite a handful of returning servers that were waiting for us to reopen after 8 months."
The restaurant returns with a fresh, warm look--plus new menu options courtesy of a new pizza oven.
As excited as the crew is to be back together, the support from the community so far shows the feeling is mutual.
"We made it! We're open," exclaimed Montgomery.
"The excitement of people coming in and saying that they're so happy to see us back," said Spittle.