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Withstanding the Challenges of the Restaurant Industry

Viljo and Autumn Basso continue to impress diners at Syringa and Bluebird By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Brady Campbell

Syringa Cafe

Syringa Japanese Café + Sushi Bar has been a favorite among locals since opening in 2006. Owners Viljo and Autumn Basso couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve built, and accomplished, since first opening their doors in that small, intimate space on Fourth Street.

With a flair for originality and excellence, Syringa, located in Coeur d’Alene’s midtown, has established itself as a restaurant destination for visitors. Always delivering the best in sushi and modern American cuisine, they’ve set the bar high and continue to deliver.

A decade later, the couple was ready for their next endeavor—The Bluebird - A Midtown Eatery. Inspired by the couple’s culinary travels and world adventures, the menu is seasonal as much as possible, with weekly specials, allowing diners to try something new each time they visit. The menu includes an array of items including a rotating scallop special. In addition, weekends always offer dinner specials. They have an excellent wine list (you’ll want to join their monthly wine club), and a great selection of beer, ciders and sours.

After the opportunity presented itself to relocate Syringa to a much larger location just north on Fourth Street in 2019, the Bassos seized it and have continued to flourish. And with Syringa’s original space now empty, the couple decided to add a third restaurant—Monarch Ramen + Noodle House. After three successful years, in June of 2022, they were forced to close their doors, as they were unable to renew their lease once new owners took over the building.

But the Bassos remain optimistic. “We’ve evolved and have seen so many changes in the 16 years we’ve been in business. We are just so grateful that our community has continued to support our restaurants,” shares Autumn. “Being in business this long, we’ve seen families grow up, we have created so many friendships with our customers. None of this could have been done without our employees. We are incredibly grateful to our employees who have stuck with us.”

As all restaurants in the Inland Northwest have experienced over the past two-plus years, not only as a result of the pandemic but the rising costs of living in this beautiful place, they have found it difficult to maintain a full staff.

“For Syringa, it’s business as usual,” says Autumn, “though we have had a really hard time finding kitchen help. As soon as we can get more staff, we have plans to expand a little. In the meantime, we are just trying to keep up with being busy.”

Bluebird has experienced the same issues as its sister restaurant. Due to lack of staff, they have closed for lunch for the time being. On the bright side, they have revamped their menu and have some delicious new dinner options they’re excited for diners to try. “We are also slowly rolling out Saturday brunches, which kicked off in November. “We won’t have them every Saturday to start, but we’ll be announcing dates on our Instagram and Facebook pages, so be sure to follow those.”

Over the years, the Bassos have been dedicated to serving their guests the best in cuisine. They are proud to have been given the opportunity to provide each guest a unique—and delicious—meal, no matter where they choose to take a seat.

To explore their menus, and find their current hours, be sure to visit their restaurant websites.

Syringa Japanese Café + Sushi Bar 1710 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.664.2718 |

The Bluebird - A Midtown Eatery 816 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.665.3777 |

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