[Vision2020] New restraunt in Old Basilio location

Dan Carscallen areaman at moscow.com
Mon Sep 11 10:31:25 PDT 2006

Wayne asks:
"Where is Archies?"

>From the weekend Daily News:  Biz Bits: Comfort food comes to Friendship

Archie's takes Basilio's place at the Moscow Hotel  By Murf Raquet
Published: 09-08-2006 

When Jim and Archie Johnson decided to retire, this was not what they
had in mind. 

The couple have been involved in the food service business for years
including owning and operating a restaurant in Selma, Calif., south of
Fresno, for 14 years. 

The fast pace of the area took its toll. 

"It was crowded and we were getting burned out," said Jim Johnson. "We
intended to sell our home and rest . slow down a bit but not fully
Best laid plans . . 

Archie, 56, and Jim, 63, have been married for 26 years and wanted to
take it easy and open a little mom and pop operation. 

Instead, they landed in Moscow and bought Basilio's from Pullman
restaurateur, Lewis Reed. 

"I don't know what went wrong (with our plans), but here we are," joked
Jim on Wednesday, the day before the business opened. 

The restaurant, remodeled and rechristened Archie's on the Square, has
seating for 170 and features American food in a casual, family oriented

"We serve comfort food," Jim said. "Most of it prepared from scratch." 

He's quick to brag about one of his signature dishes - chicken-fried

"Ours is 15-16 oz. and hangs over the plate," he said. "I discovered a
purveyor that handles the American Kobe-Angus beef I will use for (the
chicken-fried steak). It presses out well, it's well-marbled and you can
cut it with a fork." 

Archie's menu has two pages each of breakfast and lunch, and one page
for dinner selections. "Our breakfast selections won't quit," he said.
"We have lots of omelets and plenty of egg and meat combinations." 

Biscuits and gravy, potatoes, waffles, pancakes and fresh ground coffee
round out the early morning menu. 

Lunch items range from hot and cold sandwiches and salads to fish and
chips and low-calorie plates. 

Steaks and seafood are served for dinner as is liver and onions, chicken
breasts prepared a number of ways and broasted chicken. 

"In our businesses, we try to give customers the best possible price as
we can," he said. "So far it's worked well. Customers will remember the
good food long after they forget the price." 

Archie's on the Square is located at 100 W. Fourth St., on the south
side of the Moscow Hotel building facing Friendship Square. Hours have
not been finalized but it will be open for breakfast and lunch seven
days a week and dinner Monday through Saturday and maybe Sunday on
special occasions. The phone number is (208) 892-2724. 

Lewis Reed closed Basilio's Steak & Seafood Ristorante earlier this year
after seven years of operation. 

Reed, who also operates Basilio's Italian Cafe and the Little Caesars
Pizza - both in Pullman - had spread himself too thin. 

"I needed another 12 hours in the day to properly run three operations,"
Reed said. "I either had to get back into (the Moscow business) or sell

He chose the latter. 

The business was advertised in trade journals and out-of-town

When the Johnsons inquired about the business, Reed knew he found good

"I was impressed by their expertise and background and I decided to
sell," Reed said. 

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