Skein in the game: West Side yarn shop opens
Julia Lindquist, a former high school English teacher, thought something was missing on the West Side: a yarn shop.
“We didn’t have one here,” Lindquist, a longtime knitter and crocheter, said.
Although there are several craft stores on the West Side, including Michaels, JOANN Fabric and Crafts and Hobby Lobby, Lindquist said, the neighborhood didn’t have a dedicated yarn shop for natural fiber yarn after several had closed pre-pandemic.
The closest shop was in Nob Hill, and Lindquist, a West Side resident, wasn’t always able to make it over there. She made do with online shopping, but it wasn’t the same experience.
“We’ve been buying a lot of yarn online,” Lindquist said. “It really makes a difference if you can touch it and feel it and see the real color … color is very important to artists.”
So Lindquist decided to open her own. In mid-February, Lindquist opened the doors of Mariposa Yarn at 10301 Cottonwood NW. The business had its grand opening March 4.
Lindquist carries 376 different yarn varieties, made from superwash wool, cotton, linen and other natural fibers. The space is also open for knitting and crochet groups to come work. Lindquist also offers beginning crochet and knitting classes and knit-along groups, where each attendee works on the same project. When Lindquist leads a knit-along or teaches a class, she attaches a camera to her hands so students can follow along realtime on the shop’s television.
“When the pandemic hit, I realized how social knitting really is,” Lindquist said. “A lot of people see old ladies knitting at home by themselves, but we really enjoy talking with people and sharing our projects and getting help from other people.”
In the future, first-time business owner Lindquist is hoping to expand the space and start spinning and dyeing her own yarn, and adding a space for weavers.
“We have a great weaving community here,” Lindquist said. “... I’d like to be able to offer some space for them.”
Mariposa Yarn is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro to reopen after 3 years
On March 16, 2020, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro posted on their Instagram that the restaurant would temporarily be closed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure lasted longer than anticipated, said co-owner Kevin Roessler, stretching from months into years. Roessler, who also owns Seasons Rotisserie & Grill in Old Town and Savoy Bar & Grill with his twin brother, Keith and their wives Catharina and Lynn Roessler, said they were able to take advantage of the outdoor seating at Seasons and Savoy to reopen more quickly. Zinc, a mainstay on Central, didn’t have outdoor seating and remained shuttered.
But after nearly three years, the wait is over. Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro is reopening this week – at least, partly. On March 9, the cellar bar at 3009 Central NE will reopen. For the first few weeks of opening, the cellar bar will be open Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Roessler said that ultimately he hopes to extend the days and hours.
“It’s like opening a brand new restaurant, even though we’ve been open 17 years,” Roessler said.
The three-story restaurant, which first opened in 2003, consists of a wine cellar, main exhibition kitchen, and mezzanine. The cellar bar will reopen this week. The main restaurant and mezzanine will reopen soon after; Roessler said it could be a few weeks or up to a few months later.
Chef Chris Pope, who designed the original Zinc menu and has supported both Seasons Grill and Savoy Bar and Grill over the years, will be returning to Zinc as a co-owner and to help guide the restaurant’s reopening.
Diners who have been missing some of Zinc’s classics are in luck. The crispy duck eggrolls and almond-crusted baked brie will remain on the menu. But those mainstays will be joined by an extended menu, which
includes larger entrees like vegan red curry stew and chimichurri steak frites.
Since the cellar is opening first, Roessler wanted to beef up the menu to include more “substantial” meals. Before the closing, the cellar menu was more focused on appetizers, where the main dining room served bigger entrees.
The restaurant is also debuting a cocktail menu with more than a dozen cocktails, specialty drinks and martinis which join the bar’s wine menu. Michael Gallegos, the bar manager at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill developed the new bar program with Adam Ybarra and Bailie Schmidt.
The space has also undergone renovations during the closure. Customers will see a new floor, barstools, tabletops and a fresh coat of paint.
“A lot of times, when you’re open, you don’t have time to do that,” Roessler said. “...We had plenty of time here.”
The Roesslers also own Gorge Bar & Grill and Parcht in Taos.
ABQ dentist opens soda shop
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dr. Casey Allman sees patients at his dentistry practice on the border of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
But at the end of the day, he changes his scrubs for a polo and heads to his new soda shop at 3301 Southern SE, Rio Rancho.
“My staff has been very supportive,” Allman said. “Of course, they tease me that I’m saying ‘Congratulations, no cavities, come to my soda shop.’”
Allman has brought the first franchize of FiiZ Drinks, a Utah-based soda chain, to New Mexico. The franchise now has locations in 10 states.
Allman has family in Utah, and said that soda shops are very popular in the state. For years, he waited for a similar shop to come to New Mexico — but eventually, he decided to open his own.
“Nobody was doing it,” Allman said. “I finished paying off my business loans, and thought maybe I should look into seeing what’s involved in bringing one of the franchises to New Mexico.”
The menu at FiiZ includes base sodas that can have additional flavor syrups added to them. Allman’s favorite is a drink called the “Chandler Bing”: a Mountain Dew with strawberry, pineapple and coconut syrup added in. Between all the sodas and flavors, Allman said, there’s thousands of different combinations.
Ultimately, Allman is hoping to open four FiiZ Drinks locations in New Mexico.
“Yeah, I’m a dentist. It’s kind of weird, but why not?” Allman said.
The grand opening was on Saturday. The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Hours are subject to change.