Little Pearl Bar is a brand new entry to the 8th street food and cocktail scene with beautifully unique craft cocktails, a menu with enough variety for any pallet, and an amazing boutique location looking out onto the hubbub of downtown Boise.
From the outside, you can tell that the concept pulls from the classic street-side restaurants of New York and other east coast cities. The patio is dressed with a fair amount of tables and seating, and you can easily see the bartop itself and bar-stool window seating through the big, bay windows in the front of the shop.
Stepping inside Little Pearl Bar, the first thing that stands out is the beautiful dark wood bar delightfully eclectic nautical aesthetic. An impressive brass diving helmet sits to the right of the door, and a beautiful painting of a ship at sea hangs by the bar. The gorgeous wood used throughout the bar, from tables and seating to the bartop itself, is the special pride of husband and wife owners, Cal and Ashley Elliott.
“Nearly all of the material you see in this bar are reclaimed from the old Tiner Building,” Cal explained in an interview over a plate of Penn Cove mussels. Cal acquired the building a few years ago, and restoration for the old hotel is now in full swing. He and Ashley figured a reclamation of such a historic building was the perfect way to bring something special to Little Pearl Bar. “So all these doors, those transom windows, these cabinets, they all came out of the old Bouquet.”
Little Pearl Bar is a companion to the full restaurant, Little Pearl Oyster Bar, which sits just across the escalator on 8th St. During their initial soft open, the bar served a unique variety of exclusive and creative craft cocktails but didn’t yet offer any food from its counterpart’s menu.
Now though, Little Pearl Bar has introduced a curated version of their companion’s menu across the way. When we asked about oysters in Idaho, he replied, “I’ve been serving oysters for 15 – 20 years. Everything is FedExed overnight these days, and I was getting west coast oysters when I was running my restaurant in New York. It doesn’t matter that Idaho is landlocked if you know reputable farms and how to take care of the oysters and serve them right.”
But the menu doesn’t stick to strictly seafood – there’s something for everyone, which keeps the bar open for folks without a specific taste for seafood. For example, their burger is incredible! Cal explains, “We want people to be able to come in here on an up-scale corporate lunch or just hang out on the patio with friends and a burger in the evening,” Call remarked. “Maybe you just want a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne. We want people to come here for a variety of reasons, and we want to see people excited about a good steak or a good burger, as well as our oysters.”
Little Pearl Bar opens at 3pm, Wednesday through Sunday, and if you haven’t had the chance to try them out for yourself – especially with their new menu and food options – do yourself a favor and head on downtown for a cocktail and a plate of oysters. It’s an inviting experience with a beautiful location, and Cal and Ashley have both worked hard to keep Boise’s special cultural flair alive by bringing such a unique and spirited place to downtown Boise.