MAPS opened the doors to its subterranean setup last Thursday with little fanfare. The cafe/bar is located on Market Street just below Sherman's Books, and it's easy enough to miss. Find your way down the stairs, though, and enter a cozy extension of owners Kyle Tzrinski and Vikki Walker's living room. Walker, a native of England, says they just realized recently that the atmosphere was so similar to that of their personal space: "We basically want people to feel like they're home and can stay as long as they want." The grilled cheese sandwiches toasted in the convection oven, and the housemade cakes, maintain the sentiment.
As suggested by the name, there are indeed maps everywhere, as well as mirrors, unique chairs and couches, and stacks of vinyl to accompany the functioning jukebox. When asked about the concept, Tzrinski, who is originally from Vermont, laughingly replies, "I hate to say we needed a name...." He goes on to explain that most of the accoutrements are from bars they enjoy, especially from their travels in Europe.
"We've been on the road working in music for the past 10 years. When we got here a year and a half ago, we decided we wanted to open a bar." While searching for a location, the couple nearly went with something massive, but Tzrinski says he's relieved this small space opened up. "Our goal is to have one of us be able to run it...I know that sounds silly, but at least for the first six months that will allow us to get a feel for it, and it's low overhead." As we chat, much of the opening night crowd has moved on, and ten guests remain. "We'd like it to be this busy," Tzrinski points out.
The draft list is meant to remain affordable (the highest price on opening night was $7 for a pint of Bissell Brothers Substance Ale), and the owners are actively seeking additional local beers to pour. The cakes rotate based on the whims of the baker, Walker; tender cinnamon buns and banana cake with cream cheese frosting were available opening night. Hours are 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, and MAPS is closed on Tuesdays. See additional photos of the exterior and interior in a recent album on the business' Facebook page.