By Andrew Coussens
It can be incredibly challenging to find a place for dinner with a group of people on a Saturday night in downtown Boise. And even more difficult on the crowded sidewalks of the ever popular 8th Street. Fortunately, Boise’s latest hot spot—Karma—is the perfect place to pass the time while waiting for your name to be called.
What was once Fatty’s Bar has been transformed into a spacious, well-lit, and comfortable lounge with a vast selection of games to keep everyone entertained. Jenga, pool, darts, and an exhilarating array of arcade classics are guaranteed to help kill time if you happened to make a similar mistake that we did: forgetting to make a reservation on the weekend. We were so enthralled with Karma’s game selection that we almost missed the critical ‘Your table is ready’ text message!
Alongside their massive gaming arcade lives a delicious and plentiful cocktail menu, a concession area with flavored waters, and Dawson Taylor Coffee. Karma has plans to serve hot food in the future as well.
Steve Masonheimer, co-owner and one of the masterminds behind the Fatty’s metamorphosis, took some time to share the story of Karma’s inception with Greenbelt Magazine. Beyond the lounge is an adjacent nightclub, which houses Freak Alley-inspired artwork, designed by eight local artists. Another Boise-area graphic design company was responsible for the numerous LED backlit portraits of musicians. Steve also revealed the brand-new laser lights and projector wall behind the DJ booth, adorned with 3,000 LED lights.
Masonheimer also explained their unique Dance Safe program. The open atmosphere and ambient lighting of the nightclub makes the dancefloor less claustrophobic. But beyond that, safety cards are available to anyone feeling harassed or treated inappropriately. These cards are kept in the ladies’ restroom and anyone who feels uncomfortable can simply hand one of these cards to a security guard, who would then keep an eye on the them and intervene on their behalf if necessary.
Another unique aspect of Karma is their DJ selection. Rather than fight for the few DJs in the Northwest whose rates are exorbitant and schedules already tight, Masonheimer felt that cultivating local DJs was a better and more sustainable option. A few senior DJs could work with those starting their careers and Karma would dedicate the first hour each weekend to a new DJ as they climbed their way up the industry ladder.
Karma’s forward-thinking business model is a perfect fit for the growing downtown vibe. Their dedication to safety, comfort, and entertainment is something we can only hope that other businesses emulate in the coming future.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind with a few tasty cocktails or somewhere to tear up the dancefloor all night with your friends, Karma is the best of both worlds, with a spacious and aesthetic atmosphere to boot.