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BOISE -- Cafe Ole in Downtown Boise closed for the last time on Friday night. The family-owned, local restaurant has expanded into three locations but, due to a number of factors, the owner told KTVB that their downtown Boise location is closed.

Cafe Ole has seen more than three decades on 8th Street. Maria Thompson started at Cafe Ole when she was in high school, and worked there for six years.

There's such a great atmosphere here, we've had so many good times, said Thompson.

Many of her favorite memories involve Cafe Ole. On Friday, she ate dinner, drank margaritas, laughed and relived some of the best stories.

It just was a family tradition, and we all really are like family, said Thompson of her former co-workers. We all stay in touch with each other.

Thompson's own family started at Cafe Ole, as it's where met her husband, who also worked there.

Keith Cochran worked at Cafe Ole for 10 years. It's where his brother bartended, and gave Cochran his shifts when he went off to college. He remembers a time when the Boise staple saw some busier nights.

This was the hot spot, especially on Wednesday nights for ladies night, Cochran said. They had 99 cent margaritas, and this place was packed.

Cochran came back to Boise from Reno, just to say goodbye and reminisce with old friends, many of whom he met while working at Cafe Ole.

We've had a lot of stories with everybody that's sitting around here, and probably the stories that we wouldn't tell here on camera, Cochran said with a laugh.

Owner Jeff Casey said 8th Street Market was the highlight of Downtown Boise.

Well, when we opened there weren't many restaurants and now there are a lot, said Casey, who opened this Cafe Ole location in December of 1981. When we opened we had a theater on the other end of this hallway, and we had free parking and big patio, and all those things have gone away with the changes of BoDo and so it's just a lot of competition, a lot of changes, and we've kind of become a secondary location here.

Casey said their lease was coming to an end, and rent was too high.

We've been here so long, and we built up so many memories. It's going to be hard to say goodbye, but we're going to go out with a bang, and have a good time, Casey said.

Casey said most of his employees will be able to keep their jobs and transfer to one of the other Cafe Ole locations in the valley.

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