A few downtown Moscow businesses have closed, but new ones are filling the void.
A restaurant called Mock Orange will soon replace D. Willy’s Blues Brew and BBQ on Sixth Street; The Hoof and Trotter on Second Street next to Slice and Biscuit will be a Thai restaurant; and Snap Fitness opened Wednesday in the former Safari Pearl space on East Third Street.
Meanwhile, Popo, a bubble tea shop on West Sixth Street near the entrance to the University of Idaho campus, closed earlier this week.
Mock Orange will open Dec. 5, said Ryan Town, who owns the new restaurant with fellow longtime Moscow resident Christina Mangiapani.
Town said the establishment, which will be open Thursday through Sunday, will offer American cuisine and beer and wine.
For more information on its menu and hours, visit www.mock-orange.com.
Dennis Wilson said he sold D. Willy’s on Nov. 1, after running it since 2012.
“Seven years and I had fun about 6½ of it,” he said.
Wilson said business was good, but he felt he was neglecting his other business ventures. He owns Pizza Perfection in Moscow and Pullman, as well as rental housing.
“I was feeling spread too thin,” Wilson said. “I wasn’t giving attention to all of my investments. They were all suffering, so I just needed to shake a few of them.”
Justin Rasmussen, managing broker at Kiemle Hagood in Moscow, said The Hoof and Trotter barbecue restaurant is closed and a Thai restaurant is expected to open in December or January.
Mike Winroth, owner of Snap Fitness with his wife, Heidi, and business partner Dustin Roby, said Wednesday was the first day of business for the 24-hour gym.
They also own Snap Fitness in Lewiston and Clarkston.
Mike Winroth said they leased the 7,100-square-foot Moscow space because of its close proximity to downtown and other popular locations. The space shares a parking lot with the other businesses that are part of the strip mall, which was also a huge reason for leasing it, he said.
Snap Fitness in Pullman, which Winroth and his associates do not own, has been closed after it flooded earlier this year.
Yufan Yang, who owns Popo in Moscow and Pullman with his wife and their friend, said the Moscow location closed Sunday.
Yang said they bought the shops last year and leased the Moscow space. The Pullman store across the street from Safeway on Bishop Boulevard will remain open.
Yang said the Moscow store, which was open for almost three years, was too small to offer all the food items it offers at the Pullman location, and too large to simply offer its Taiwanese milk tea.
He said if they choose to serve the full food and drink menu like in Pullman, he would like to operate in a larger space, but if they decide to only serve drinks, he would prefer a smaller drive-thru stand, similar to Dutch Bros.
Yang said the University of Idaho construction at the intersection of Sixth and Line streets this summer and fall affected sales.
He said he is unsure if they will reopen in Moscow and the Sixth Street space will be available for lease starting in about one month.
Moscow business owners George Skandalos and Carly Lilly purchased the former U.S. Bank building on the corner of Main and Third streets and plan to relocate Sangria Grille, currently in the Palouse Mall parking lot, in the bank’s parking lot and dedicate the second-level bank floor to commercial offices.
Two doors down, a vintage clothing and records store called Revolver Culture Co. will replace the former White Pine Outfitters space, between The Garden Lounge and Hodgins Drug and Hobby. It is expected to open next month.
Meanwhile, White Pine Outfitters co-owner Tyler Nash said last week he hopes to reopen the outdoor sports store Friday at 118 S. Jackson St.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.