Bethany Clough

A new rooftop bar is headed to a historic downtown Fresno building. Here’s what you need to know

Quail State bar has signed a lease to open in both indoor and outdoor spaces on the third-floor rooftop of the Pacific Southwest Building on Fulton Street. Photographed from Mariposa Street, Quail State will be on the east side of the historic building, facing the Radisson Hotel Conference Center on Van Ness Avenue.
Quail State bar has signed a lease to open in both indoor and outdoor spaces on the third-floor rooftop of the Pacific Southwest Building on Fulton Street. Photographed from Mariposa Street, Quail State will be on the east side of the historic building, facing the Radisson Hotel Conference Center on Van Ness Avenue. bclough@fresnobee.com

A new bar called Quail State plans to open on a second-floor rooftop space at the historic Pacific Southwest building on Fulton Street in downtown Fresno.

The owners of the bar signed a lease for the space last week. They hope to open in October, with several months of construction work yet to start.

The bar will have indoor and outdoor spaces. To start, it will focus on its drinks made with seasonal fruit and vegetables; a dinner menu will be added later, said Josh Islas, one of the partners behind Quail State.

The historic Pacific Southwest building is the 1920s building with red awnings and columns at the corner of Fulton and Mariposa streets. It’s the same building where bakery La Boulangerie plans to open a second location, essentially a walk-up window with tables on the sidewalk.

Quail State – a reference to California’s state bird – will take over a space on the east side of the building. Just above the columns is an outdoor rooftop space that faces the Radisson Hotel Conference Center on Van Ness Avenue.

There is still much work to be done, said Islas, who owns the business with his fiancée and chief financial officer, Hayley Wolf.

“It’s currently three separate spaces,” he said. “We have to redo all of it.”

When it’s up and running, the bar will use locally sourced ingredients with seasonal fruit and vegetables but also reflect the “influence of the cultures” in the area, Islas said.

“Not just the produce, but every different culture has their own unique spices and their unique profile,” he said.

The bar would make its own simple syrups, bitters and vermouth, and barrel-age its own cocktail ingredients.

Quail State first announced its intention to open a spot on Fulton in The Fresno Bee in January 2018. It didn’t have a space at the time and spent months searching for and finalizing a location.

Ever since Fulton Street transformed from a pedestrian mall to a street open to cars in 2017, Quail State has been teasing its Instagram followers with sophisticated images of its drinks.

Islas was born and raised in Dinuba and lived in Fresno for a year before moving to Southern California. He has spent 10 years working in bars and restaurants, including in management and marketing.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.
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