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Space Case: Quartz

Aug 02, 2023

Like most themed bars, Quartz’s visual qualities and “vibe” are its primary selling points. But patrons might be surprised that the cavernous, crystal-themed cocktail bar in Downtown Phoenix is blessed with both beauty and brains.

The bar’s two opposing rooms were inspired by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s theories on Roman gods Apollo and Dionysus, who represent clarity and chaos, respectively.

The front area features calming jewel tones, refined lighting fixtures and simple furniture, while the cacophony of colors, textures and lighting in the bar’s back room represent “disorder, intoxication, emotion and ecstasy,” according to Quartz’s interior designer, Sophia Pappas.

Balance is important to Pappas’ design philosophy. She is drawn to elements that are eye-catching without being gaudy. “I don’t like things to look like Disneyland,” she says. “If you have a really loud thing, that should shine, and everything else should support it.”

341 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix 602-385-0299,

1. Rock SoffitThe synthetic rock slab suspended over the bar was custom-made by Scottsdale-based Big Bamboo Studios, which manufactures artificial boulders for residential pools. “It had to look like it was really carved out of the side of a cave,” Pappas says. “They knocked it out of the park.”

2. Rope LightPappas spotted this custom LED rope lighting by Luke Lamp Co. at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York five years ago. “It reminded me of when you’re walking down into a cave with a lantern and have a rope that you hold onto as you’re descending,” she says.

3. Amethyst CathedralCo-owner Chuckie Duff handpicked each of Quartz’s genuine geodes, including this giant amethyst.

4. Local Art Pieces from the owners’ personal collections adorn the walls, including this painting by Phoenix artist Austin Sanchez titled “Let Them In.”

5. Popcorn Walls The stippled walls in Quartz’s back room replicate the stucco “popcorn” ceilings that were ubiquitous in the 1980s. “The lighting behind it creates such good texture, it looks like when you look at a crystal. And it helps with sound,” Pappas says.

341 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix 602-385-0299, quartzphx.com1. Rock Soffit2. Rope Light3. Amethyst Cathedral4. Local Art 5. Popcorn Walls