Our Team

Our Story

Capitol Cellars Restaurant opened in Boise, Idaho on March 4th, 2015. Melinda and Skip Smyser, along with daughter, Logan Smyser Griffin created a restaurant that focuses on serving high-quality, local cuisine, a world-class wine list with a full bar, in Boise’s subterranean Belgravia cellar location. The Belgravia, which was built in 1904, is one of Boise’s historical buildings which is reminiscent of Boise’s turn of the century elegance. Capitol Cellars serves Boise’s best business lunch and an elegant-upscale dinner that changes with the season’s bounty, thanks to our Executive Chef Kylan McKee. Capitol Cellars has a lovely patio area, which is perfect for lunch, happy hour, or dinner. We look forward to hosting you!

Melinda & Skip Smyser | Owners

Skip Smyser

Mr. Smyser is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lobby Idaho, LLC, President of Connolly & Smyser, Chartered and CEO of Capitol Cellars, LLC. Mr. Smyser has been a public affairs professional and attorney in Idaho for nearly 40 years. He has experience as a Prosecuting Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and has had his own law practice for 35 plus years.

Mr. Smyser is a fifth generation Idaho resident born and raised in Canyon County. He has had a successful contract lobbying practice for over 20 years, representing a diverse client base focused on being an advocate of substance and a knowledgeable source of information for legislators and members of the executive branch of government.

Since graduating from Gonzaga School of Law in 1977, Skip Smyser has been an active part of the Idaho political scene. He has worked on numerous successful political campaigns and held seats as a member of the Idaho House of Representatives and Idaho State Senate, where he served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. In addition, he has served as a Presidential elector and was a delegate to numerous National Political Conventions.

In March 2015, the Smyser family opened the politically themed Capitol Cellars, as a fine dining, full service restaurant. As one who dines out over 200 meals a year, Mr. Smyser has insisted on quality food, quality service and a top flight wine list. Skip believes in providing Idaho products where ever possible. Capitol Cellars is a better place to do business.

His wife Melinda and he live in Parma and have four children – Lincoln, Logan, Landon and Lauren.

Melinda Smyser

Melinda S. Smyser grew up on a farm and ranch in Middleton and is a lifelong resident of Canyon County.

She has spent most of her career as an educator and counselor in Canyon County. Her background includes serving 13 years on the Parma School Board of Trustees. Mrs. Smyser served two terms in the Idaho State Senate serving on the Agriculture, Commerce, and the Health and Welfare Committees. She was the Regional Director for U.S. Senator Jim Risch for 5 years where she covered nine counties working with elected officials, businesses and the communities. She served as the Director for the Department of Labor in the Otter administration. Smyser is currently the Director of the Office of Drug Policy for the State of Idaho.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Idaho and a Master’s Degree from the College of Idaho.

She is a Friend of Agriculture, an Idaho School Counselor of the Year and founding member of the Mentoring Network. Her greatest accomplishment in life is the raising of her four children and being married to the love of her life, C.A. “Skip” Smyser.

In her spare time, she enjoys travel, politics and fitness activities.

Her favorite motto is “Live, Laugh and Love Today, Tomorrow is Fleeting.”

Logan Smyser Griffin | General Manager

Growing up on a farm, Logan Smyser Griffin has gone from setting siphon tubes to being featured in the three issues of Wine Spectator. A Canyon County native and sixth generation Idahoan, Logan learned early on how important agriculture is to our way of life. She saw firsthand how hard farmers worked to care for their crops. Her upbringing has helped her develop a love and passion for food and wine.

Griffin graduated from Parma High School in 2007 and headed north to attend the University of Idaho, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations in 2011. With a strong desire to learn about food and wine, she moved to Napa Valley and went to work for world-renowned Schramsberg Vineyards and Joseph Phelps Vineyards. She completed the Court of Master Sommeliers, Level 1. Over her years in Napa Valley, Griffin’s love for food and wine continued to grow. Eventually, she was ready to head back to her native roots in Idaho.

With the experience and knowledge gained in Napa Valley, combined with her passion for the food and wine industry, Logan and her family started a wine label, “2C wines,” and opened Capitol Cellars Restaurant in March 2015. Today, both the restaurant and wine label, continue to grow.

Logan is married to Joe Griffin and currently resides in Boise’s North End. She is an Ada County Central Committee Woman, ILRA Board Member, P.E.O. Member, Go Lead Idaho Member, Rotaract Member, (Rotary Club Partner) and Canyon County Federation of Republican Women Member. When not working she enjoys tennis, golf, traveling, the outdoors, movies, gardening, singing and politics.

Kylan McKee | Executive Chef

Executive Chef Kylan McKee fell in love with culinary arts at the age of eight, when he tasted his first oyster on the coast with his father. A few years later, he began his culinary journey. Chef Kylan is an Idaho native with 23 years of experience throughout the Pacific Northwest. He expresses his creativity in the kitchen by working with locally grown, seasonal ingredients. He is happy and excited to lead Capitol Cellars as Executive Chef. In his spare time, Chef Kylan enjoys jujitsu, playing the banjo, riding dirt bikes, and spending time in the mountains with family. 

Brandon Stanton | Front of House Manager

A third-generation bartender, Brandon Stanton moved to Boise, ID in 2010 after serving four years in the United States Marine Corps Infantry. Brandon was introduced to the hospitality industry as a teen and has continued to thrive within the different realms of the business. Naturally, he developed a career path in the service industry. Together, with his years of experience at reputable establishments throughout Southern California and the downtown Boise area, Brandon brings a wealth of knowledge, leadership and skill set to Capitol Cellars. In his free time, Brandon enjoys reading, cooking, playing video games, and hanging out with his dog Archer; whom he affectionately calls “dummy.”.