Pajarito Brewpub owners make bid for golf course restaurant

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County > Food service at community building offers a different menu

By Arin McKenna

If all goes well at the June 27 Los Alamos County Council meeting, Los Alamos residents could be dining out at the new golf course community building later this year.
Staff is recommending that council approve Pajarito Golf Group LLC’s bid to operate the restaurant. PGG is comprised of Patrick Mockler-Wood, Catherine Mockler and Dorota and Pawel Listwan, co-owners of the Pajarito Brew Pub & Grill.
According to Mockler-Wood, the restaurant PGG is proposing will be completely different than the Brewpub.
“This location is going to be more of a sister business, not a second brewpub,” Mockler-Wood said. “It’s going to be a very different menu.”
The RFP requires PGG to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer a grab-and-go menu for golfers and banquet service.
Breakfast will be served five to seven days a week, depending on demand. Mockler-Wood believes PGG will follow the mechanism they used with the Brewpub, serving daily until they can determine where that demand is and set their hours accordingly.
One highlight for breakfast (and all day) will be Seattle’s Best Coffee. The restaurant will offer everything a full franchise offers, but will technically be an “outlet” rather than a “franchise,” since franchises cannot be combined with other businesses.
“We’ll get the coffee lovers on their way to work in the morning,” Mockler-Wood said.
The lunch menu will have nothing in common with the brewpub, not even the French fries.
“We’re hoping to make our own fresh, made-to-order potato chips,” Mockler-Wood said. “The grab-and-go will have sandwiches and salads and that sort of thing. You can show up, grab it and take less than five minutes.”
For dinner, PGG plans to take advantage of the community building’s design.
“Unlike this place, the bar is semi-separate from the dining room, so it will be more of a dining room experience and less of a sports bar,” Mockler-Wood said. “Dinner will be more of a sit down, middle to high end Italian style cuisine.”
The one downside to the prospect of the new restaurant is the timing.
Nothing can move forward until council approves the RFP. Once that happens, the space will undergo some modest modifications requested by PGG and the procurement process for outfitting the restaurant will begin. County staff estimates it will be November before the restaurant is outfitted and ready for occupancy.
“To safeguard the public, we have to follow all these procedures, including getting bids, and that can sometimes get cumbersome,” Project Manager Anthony Strain said. “But those checks and balances are set up for a reason.”
“It’s bad for the town, obviously, because the town wants something new, they want something at the golf course,” Mockler-Wood said. “However, it gives us time to focus on the summer here, then in quieter times to switch gears.
“We opened this place in November, and we were doing 1,200 people a day. We went from 16 employees to 48 employees within one week after we opened here, because we didn’t know we’d need that many people here. So now we’re a little better prepared.”
According to Mockler-Wood, PGG’s focus is on filling a gap for the community.
“Our goal is to give Los Alamos that one more thing that it was missing, that will make this town wonderful to live in,” Mockler-Wood said.