Business climate in Meridian continues growing, along with population

Oct 18, 2017

Meridian – Meridian is keeping up with its designation as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, but it’s not just booming with people. From expansions to relocations, area businesses are moving there, too.

Meridian’s population has increased nearly 25 percent over the last five years, and as more folks move in, so do businesses.

“It’s easy to do business in Meridian,” said Mike Ruffner, Meridian Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman. “I think the other piece of it, that is so important and that we’ve seen over the years, is the sense of community.”

That sense of community is one of the reasons why Fanci Freez will expand to Meridian next spring.

The popular burger and shakes drive-thru has been in Boise since 1947.

“Meridian, it seems to be like, there’s enough people that have grown up in Boise that have gravitated out that direction,” said owner Bill Hawes. “And they’ve all said, ‘Hey, I want a Fanci Freez closer to me.'”

The iconic walk-up restaurant will be on the corner of McMillan and Linder Roads, and will be three times the size of its current location on State Street — complete with indoor seating.

“That area gets a lot of business, even from Eagle High kids coming over for food,” Hawes said. “And it’s close enough, like this is to Boise High, to be a place for kids to come hang out, families to come hang out, as well.”

And Meridian-based businesses, like Calle 75 Street Tacos in The Village, are making moves of their own.

The popular street taco joint is opening a restaurant in Boise next month.

“It’s been great,” said owner Mike Weems. “We’ve grown every year and we continue to grow, and the Village is definitely a great place to do business.”

Fanci Freez is planning on opening its Meridian location in May of 2018.

Boise’s Tin Roof Tacos is also expanding to Meridian next spring. Both restaurants will be located in the same retail plaza on McMillan Road.

Voted “10 Best Places for Milkshakes in Idaho” AGAIN!

Click on the photo below to see who else ranked with us!


Fanci Freez will have a second, larger location in Meridian. Owners want to keep the same neighborhood feel of the original.

Fanci Freez was the first of Boise’s burger and milkshake drive-ins to open back in the day. From 1947 until today, it has been owned by several people. Its reputation fluctuated over the years, going from dive to darling to vintage treasure today.

Current owners Bill and Alison Hawes plan to take it up a notch by opening a second location in Meridian at the new Northpointe Retail Plaza at 1750 W. McMillan Road, at Linder Road.

The restaurant will share a building with Tin Roof Tacos, another popular Boise restaurant that is adding a second location in Idaho’s fastest-growing city. Both expect to open sometime next spring.

The Meridian Fanci Freez will be be much larger and more of a restaurant than the original, with a diner-style counter, indoor and outdoor seating and a fire pit, Bill Hawes said.

He’s also working with the architects to include an indoor fireplace.

The Haweses bought Fanci Freez, at 1402 W. State St., earlier this year, bringing with them Bill Hawes’ experience with co-owning several Five Guys Burger franchises. He and his brothers sold those in 2016.

“I was working on my own concept, but when Fanci Freez came up for sale, I couldn’t pass it up,” he said.

Fanci Freez is a popular place for Boise High School students to hit for lunch. The Meridian location will be close to Rocky Mountain High School. Hawes was drawn to the new location because, like Boise, it also has a neighborhood feel.

In Boise, “even though we’re on State Street, this really has a neighborhood feel,” Hawes says. “We have a lot of people hanging out here all the time. Where we’re going to be is the same kind of area, where there are more rooftops than retail.”

Hawes has memories of Fanci Freez from when he was a small child. His mother went to Boise High and he remembers her talking about it fondly. Hawes himself grew up on the East Coast but came back to Idaho when he left the tech sector to pursue something different.

The couple live in Eagle. They decided to open in Meridian because he kept hearing from neighbors that they wanted more options in Meridian than chains like McDonald’s.

Though the Meridian location will be about three times larger than Boise’s, “We won’t forget our roots,” he said. The Meridian menu will be basically the same, with soups and a high school lunch special.

Fanci Freez is known for classic “giant” burgers and cheeseburgers, soft-serve ice cream cones and milkshakes in 50 flavors, including the “Boston shake” — a milkshake and a sundae in a single cup.

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Please note:  If you order Fanci Freez food via UberEats service, delivery of your order is entirely UberEats responsibility. They are responsible to get ALL of the food and drink items in your order to you (this includes napkins, straws and/or spoons, etc too). We get the orders ready, but the drivers are required to check that they have everything before they leave with your order. That is part of what you are paying them to do.

Complaints of Uber orders should go directly to UberEats only.  If delivery problems continue, we will cancel the service.  This service may end at any time and without notice.

We are looking into adding online ordering. If this is something you wish to know more about, please speak with a manager or email us at service@fancifreez.com

Thank you!

Buzzfeed: The Best Places For Soft-Serve Ice Cream In Every State 2017 – Best in Idaho!


Voted best Soft Serve Ice Cream in Idaho – Buzzfeed.com July 12, 2017

What keeps people coming back: The Boston Shake!

“Ohhhhhhh Fanci Freez how I am soooo glad I don’t live closer to you!!! I would literally get ice cream here every day…why? BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING! The Boston Shake (a shake and sundae in one, my personal favorite) is so good. Not to mention the burgers and fries!!! Yay like I said, I’m glad it’s not closer to my house…haha!” —Mandi A.

“This place is a gem. We must roll through the Fanci Freeze drive-thru once a week during the summer. Every time it hits the spot. The only major obstacle you face is what to get. Which is quite a dilemma in itself — but no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong here.” —Chelsi B.


Check it out here:  https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/here-are-the-best-soft-serve-places-in-the-us?utm_term=.rfyXwlLr5#.dbX8nJ5Qw