Unquarked, the local bar and lounge in Central Park Square that encourages everyone to “Eat Local, Drink Global” is relocating to Mari Mac Village Shopping Center at 813 Central Ave.
Prashant Jain, owner of Unquarked’s parent company, Sirphey, spoke about the reasons for the move and his plans for the new location during an interview Wednesday with the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Sirphey took over operations at Unquarked in October of 2017 with the goal of turning it into Los Alamos’s premier event location, as well as a place where locals could unwind, he said. But with that change came growing pains.
“We quickly found that the space was a bit too tight for us. It’s not rare for On Tap lectures, Trivia Tuesdays, and dance nights to fill every seat in the house and then some,” Jain said. “And so began the plan for expansion. Several local possibilities were explored in the process of finding the perfect fit before the company ultimately settled on the former Blue Window Bistro space.”
He that the space is perfect for his needs and he signed the lease April 22.
“It provides us and our customers with 50 percent more square footage, a full kitchen, multiple bathrooms, and plenty of parking just off the main street,” Jain said.
With the new location will come a brand new, globally inspired menu and a full-service coffee operation through an exclusive partnership with Santa Fe’s Iconik Coffee Roasters. They are a direct trade coffee roaster that goes to various countries to develop partnerships with the growers.
“They are an environmentally sustainable company, which resonates with Unquarked’s philosophy,” Jain said.
Unquarked also will be doubling its brews on tap to 16 and expanding its wine selections as well as 40 loose leaf teas by the pot and Boba Tea, a milk tea with tapioca pearls, which basically makes Unquarked a Tea House, he said.
Jain said fans of Sirphey need not fear – the restaurant’s daily changing offerings may still be added to bar tabs for on-demand delivery.
“We really want Unquarked to be a place where all members of the community feel welcome to wander in, day or night, for a coffee, quick bite, place to work, place to unwind, or a night out with friends,” Sirphey’s Communication Director Cortni Nucklos said. “And we’re taking a number of steps to make that possible.”
Free Wi-Fi will be available to all, wireless charging stations will be on hand, and plans for a music stage are in the works.
“But mostly, we’re excited for the opportunity to bring more special events to Los Alamos County,” Nucklos said. “Tap takeovers from local breweries, special Pixar and Harry Potter trivia nights, the return of the Hot Texas Swing band, and more will be taking place at Unquarked, over the summer.”
Jain explained that the Mari Mac Village Shopping Center has been an epicenter of vacant spaces in downtown Los Alamos, over the past few years, and Unquarked is excited by the prospect of creating some change in the downtown landscape.
And in that endeavor, he said they have been greatly assisted by commercial broker Jyl DeHaven, building manager Steve Waller and the County.
“The business development and building safety divisions have been incredibly helpful,” he said. “Leasing a long-vacant space in a corporate dark site is a very tricky process, and the County was there to help – answering our most random of questions and providing insight at every step. They’re a tremendous aid to small businesses in the community.”
But the Unquarked team does find the move slightly bittersweet, Jain said.
“Our neighbors at Central Park Square are lovely. We’ll miss seeing the ladies of Allure, Marguerite and MJ at Rose Chocolatier, everyone who works with projectY, and the parade of puppies from Cyndi’s Downtown Dogs events. And we’ll miss the friendly waves from Caesar, Martin, Leo, Bernadette, Phillip, and Terry as they work in and around CPS,” he said.
Unquarked closed its operation at 145 Central Park Square Monday after Trivia Night.
The new location in Mari Mac Village will have a two-tiered opening:
Tier one is projected to open within a month and includes food and dancing; and
Tier two will happen once the liquor license is obtained.
“I am really excited about the location and the ability to welcome more people to the space and personally I am also excited about creating unique flavors in the commercial kitchen,” Jain said.