Something sweet has set up shop in Albuquerque’s West Side.
Suga Suga ABQ, a dessert bar that includes drinks and such frozen treats as Hawaiian shaved ice, Dole Whip, gelato and boba, had its soft opening Monday, March 6, with a grand opening soon to come at the 5750 McMahon location.
The menu was inspired partly by owner Vincent “Vince” Ontiveros’s love of Hawaiian cuisine.
“I love Hawaii — I go a couple of times a year,” Ontiveros said. “So, the Dole whip, the authentic Hawaiian ice is something that nobody has here. So, I definitely wanted to bring that here because I love it.”
Although Ontiveros is a veteran business owner — he co-owns Bask Bath Bar next door and runs two landscaping companies — Suga Suga is his first culinary pursuit. Developing the menu was trial and error, he said. Employees from his astroturf company would serve as his taste testers.
“I’d have people try and … kind of fine-tuning, like, ‘Is it too sweet? Not sweet enough?” Ontiveros said. “Basically a lot of practicing, experimenting.”
Ontiveros said he wanted to bring a sweet shop to the West Side — usually, he had to travel all the way to Uptown to get gelato from Frost.
“I just want to provide to people in the area something that’s not here, so people can appreciate the sweeter things,” Ontiveros said.
During the soft opening, the shop is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. A grand opening date has yet to be announced.
The shop also sells Hawaiian coffee, pastries and bagels on weekends. Ontiveros, a former police officer, also has a “first responder station” set up in the store. On-duty fire, police and EMS officers can pour themselves a free cup of coffee or tea during their shift.