The Mode Building


From 1864—when Boise was founded and named capital of the Idaho Territory—to present day, the corner of 8th and Idaho Streets has been the cultural heart of the city. As one of downtown’s most iconic landmarks, The Mode Building has stood watch at this corner, witnessing the story of Boise unfold.

The-Mode-History-InteriorPrior to 1895, the northwest corner of the intersection was home to a general store and then the Palace Meat Market. The construction of The Mode Building marked a significant upgrade to downtown; it was a beautiful, modern, multi-story building of distinctive, bright red brick.

From the start The Mode was a hub for the growing Boise downtown. The building featured a three-level department store, huge picture windows displaying live models and musical numbers, and the Mode Tea Room, an upscale cafe renown for lavish parties and social gatherings.

The-Mode-History-Interior-BarOver the decades The Mode Building has undergone extensive remodels, changed hands many times, and even survived a major fire in 1958 that gutted most of the interior. 1991 brought financial pressure from the new Boise Town Square Mall, and The Mode Department Store was forced to close. The building remained dark for several years until a wave of revitalization swept down 8th Street and the rest of downtown.

It’s our wish that The Mode Lounge continues in the tradition of entertainment, culture, and respect for this intersection, this building, and the city of Boise. Our lounge has reclaimed The Mode’s historic name and now lights up 8th and Idaho with the original Mode Ltd. neon sign. We want our lounge to reflect the vitality, energy, and excitement of a night out in Boise. With masterfully-constructed cocktails, unique beers, and a wine list that is a little off the beaten path, you’re sure to find an old favorite or something new and exciting. Please stop by, sit down, and let us pour you a drink. You can watch the Boise night through our streetside windows.

For more information about the history of Boise and The Mode Building, visit: