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Sun Valley

posted: 11/22/2002
by Bill Kerig

Although there are more modem cowboys riding the Idaho range than cow pokes these days, in Ketchum it's still legal to line up your shots and let loose like a wrangler on payday.

The Joe
"The problem is everyone is moving to Ketchum. Of course, I'm part of the problem," says San Diego transplant and Java on Fourth coffeehouse owner Todd Rippo. At least he brews quality bean: Chill on the front porch and try the Keith Richards (a quad shot of espresso topped with hot chocolate) or the toned-down Bowl of Soul (hot chocolate with two shots of espresso). (Fourth Street, 208-726-2882)

Cluttered with old beer cans, Sun Valley kitsch, and a photo of Ronald Reagan flipping the bird, Grumpy's is the spot to get a half-pound burger and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for five bucks. (Warm Springs Road. No phone, no website, and proud of it.)

Just the Calories: Big Wood Bread serves up monstrous deli sandwiches on naturally leavened bread that's still warm from the oven. (Northwood Way, 208-726-2034)
Put Some Sauce on That: Bring an open mind and an empty belly to the funky Asian-chic joint Globus and order the Cha Gio (pork, rock shrimp, and cellophane noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with nouc cham dipping sauce). (Sixth Street, 208-726-1301,
Bust Out The Plastic: Can't eat another bite of steak and taters? At Sushi on Second the goggle-tanned chefs sling contemporary sushi with a side of sass. (Second Street, 208-726-5181)

Up All Night
Suds: A workingman's bar where the drinks are stiff, but the clientele isn't, The Casino serves up the staggering Jà¤eger bomb (a Red Bull with a shot of Jà¤egermeister dumped in). (Main Street, 208-726-9901)
The Must Stop: Dead animals on the wall are the only ones who will look down their noses at you as you dive into meaty ribs and hard liquor at the bar in The Pioneer Saloon. (308 Main Street, 208-726-3139,
Live Music & Dance: Catch Bruce Willis and the Accelerators at The Mint in Hailey (11 miles south of Ketchum). Though Bruce's gigs vary-you can do that when you own the joint-the place is tops for rug cutting, whether the bald man's there or not. (Main Street, Hailey, 208-788-6468)

Hitchhiker: Book a double room in the Lift Tower Lodge for about $66 including continental breakfast and hot tub use. (Main Street, 800-462-8646)
Workin' Stiff: The Lodge at Sun Valley has a bowling alley in the basement, a heated pool, and two skating rinks. ($179-$429; Sun Valley Road, 208-622-4111)
Bank Robber: An easy walk to downtown, The Knob Hill Inn offers killer mountain views, fireplaces, and private balconies. ($195- $385; North Main, 208-726-8010,

For the Boys Back Home
A vintage 1930s Sun Valley ski poster from the Sun Valley Gift Shop in the village. (208-622-2206)

Shaken, Not Stirred
Derisively known as the Wrinkle Room, the Duchin in the Lodge at Sun Valley is known for its older, classy clientele. But young hipsters are now pouring in for the Sinatra vibe. Don't forget to "duke" your barman (that's "tip" in swinger speak) when he mixes your Dirty Bastard (vodka, blackberry brandy, cranberry juice, lime). (Sun Valley Road, 208-622-4111)

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