The strip mall is one of the great dive bar breeding grounds and Boise’s Navajo Room serves as another example of that rule, a wood-shingled outpost on the edge of the city’s Central Rim neighborhood. The Boise dive bar’s exterior looks a bit like a rural shack picked up and placed neatly into a slot between strip mall neighbors. The sign above the door is iconic as Boise dive bars go, “Navajo” spelled out in block letters with the depiction of a Native American on one side and a martini glass on the other.
The vibe inside is cozy in a way strip mall dive bars don’t often achieve, a working fireplace in the center of the room and a string of red, padded benches conveying a sense of warmth enhanced by dim lighting. A pair of pool tables sits in the center of Navajo Room’s main space, the walls covered with multiple murals. The curved, padded bar is supported by liquor bottles displayed on built-in wooden shelves. A sliver of a space in the front of the bar houses a few gaming machines, the floorplan broken up in a way that still feels connected while providing distinct drinking nooks perfect for small groups.