Pictured: Co-owner Rory Erchul on Thursday sands a piece of wood that will be used in the new Union Taproom, which will open in early March in the Yellowstone Hotel building on West Bonneville Street in Pocatello. It’s one of five new businesses that will open in Old Town by this spring.
By John O’Connell firstname.lastname@example.org
POCATELLO — Five new businesses are poised to open by this spring in Old Town Pocatello, including a restaurant and taproom and a shop where customers will make their own all-natural personal and household products.
Union Taproom will be located inside the former Yellowstone Hotel at 230 W. Bonneville St. The project is planned by the group of owners who previously opened the high-end Yellowstone restaurant and The 313 Whiskey Bar in the same historic building.
Salt and Honey, which is scheduled to open Feb. 1 inside the Kress Building, 150 S. Main St., Suite A, will sell handmade sustainable, personal and household products made from natural ingredients.×
Photographer Sara Turpin will open the Photo Boutique in the former location of Bill Burke’s House of Photography, 159 S. Main St.
Stephanie Palagi, executive director of Old Town Pocatello, Inc., said announcements will be forthcoming about two additional businesses that plan to open in Old Town by March.
Jennifer Erchul, who is one of the owners planning Union Taproom, said the restaurant will include 26 taps, featuring craft beer from regional breweries. Erchul said the taproom will also offer “food that complements beer,” such as slider hamburgers, wings, pretzel twists with dipping sauces, personal flatbread pizzas and spiced nuts. She said the new business should be open by the first week of March.
“Everything will be made in-house,” Erchul said, adding live music and trivia will be hosted regularly at the restaurant. “The taproom is going to be our extremely casual, more playful side of things.”
Erchul said The Yellowstone restaurant also started opening for lunch recently, with a special lunch menu.
“The experience in Old Town is getting elevated, and to be a part of it is exciting,” Erchul said.
Keri Kimbrough hopes her business, Salt and Honey, will raise public awareness about how disposable products and synthetic ingredients and toxins are harming both the ecosystem and human health.
“There are major issues going on with our planet, and at some point we have to figure out how to live with less waste,” said Kimbrough, who is a certified wellness coach.
Her business will offer a line of reusable products, including reusable cloth trash bags with washable liners, reusable straws, reusable towels and reusable drier balls containing essential oils to replace drier sheets. Her aunt, Barbara Mills, who is also an investor in the business, will supply many of the handmade, reusable products.
Kimbrough will sell natural products such as handmade soaps, lotions and detergents. A unique aspect of her business is that she plans to invite groups of people to develop their own custom recipes and to make their own products in her shop, with her guidance.
Kimbrough worked in the insurance industry for 12 years, before she left Michigan about a year and a half ago to return to her childhood home, Pocatello. She and her brother, Sean Kimbrough, bought the local locksmith shop LDA Security together.
Kimbrough also plans to offer classes in proper composting.
“This is what I really wake up every day and care about,” she said.
Turpin has already opened her photography studio, though her renovations are continuing, and she recently received a permit to replace the door of her business with one bearing her logo. She has a background in graphic design and took photography classes while living in Las Vegas. At the Photo Boutique, she’ll specialize in photographing newborns, children, families and seniors.
Turpin plans to lease part of her space to a retail tenant and is still seeking a potential renter. For more information on her business, visit thephotoboutique.studio.
Palagi said Old Town typically experiences a rash of new business openings during both the spring and fall. Palagi said the forthcoming openings will build on the success of 2018, when a strong economy contributed to a dozen new businesses starting in Old Town. Those businesses are still open and have reported strong sales, she said.
“For the most part, we had a great holiday season,” Palagi said.
She believes the new arrivals will add to the eclectic mix of businesses in Old Town. She’s particularly pleased by the resurgence of the Yellowstone Hotel as as a staple of Old Town.
“It’s absolutely one of the best things to happen in Old Town in the past several years,” Palagi said.