Great food, great service and a great time. That’s what Patrick and Ayana Malarchik want their new restaurant and lounge to provide residents and visitors to Sierra Vista.

The couple — who announced last week the closing of their former upscale eatery, The Outside Inn — is vigorously putting the finishing details on their new eatery, Tandem Upscale Dining & Lounge, as they plan to open the doors this week with soft and grand openings. Ayana said there are multiple meanings behind the name “Tandem,” including the idea that they have to work together with the Windemere Hotel; that the lounge and main dining room need to work cohesively; and, most importantly, Ayana says ‘tandem’ refers to her and Patrick working in tandem, as she’s the business manager and he’s the chef.

Tandem Upscale Dining & Lounge, 2047 South Highway 92 in Sierra Vista, is attached to the Windemere Hotel. However, though the space is physically connected to the hotel, the restaurant is its own separate entity, Ayana said.

Moving into that space has brought Patrick’s cooking career full circle, as it was in the hotel’s kitchen where he had his first job in the industry. Patrick said he started working in the Windemere’s kitchen at 15 years old as a dishwasher and prep chef. Now, at 33 years old, he owns the establishment, created the menu and is the head chef in the kitchen.

“It’s a similar cooking style (to the menu at The Outside Inn),” Patrick said. “But there’s more on the menu and the menu is more fun.”

Another reason Patrick wanted to change the menu from what locals remember at The Outside Inn is because the new restaurant is completely different from their old establishment. The new menu has some of the same items from The Outside Inn, Patrick says new items allow the food to remain upscale but also more affordable, so guests can dine at Tandem more frequently.

Ayana describes the food selection as “American with a southern twist,” as the menu features barbeque-glazed items and chicken and waffles — which Patrick says is his favorite dish to make.

Tandem Upscale Dining & Lounge will be open Tuesday through Sunday, with brunch on Sunday. Unlike The Outside Inn, the large space allows them to be open all day, for lunch and dinner. In addition to the lunch, dinner and brunch menus, Tandem Upscale Dining & Lounge offers a bar menu which will have several options available throughout the afternoon and night.

While the doors to the restaurant will open this month, the lounge will not be ready until a later date due to needed renovations. Ayana said she hopes to have the lounge open by winter. The lounge area will have a bar, tables, sofas and televisions for people to enjoy.

Ayana and Patrick will host a soft opening on Wednesday and aim to have their grand opening on Thursday. Both the soft and grand openings are open to everyone.

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