First Look: Agave & Rye, Opening in the Warehouse District

August 25, 2023

When guests enter Agave & Rye (1352 W. 6th St.) they will be immersed in a colorful, whimsical environment jam packed with fine art, sculpture, graffiti-style paintings and blown-glass chandeliers. The restaurant décor is described by owners Yavonne and Wade Sarber as “urban grunge,” and the Cleveland location is completely unique from any of the other properties.“We provide an escape from everyday life,” says Mia Beavers, the GM.Much has changed both inside and outside these four walls since a young chef named Michael Symon worked here when it was home to Piccolo Mondo. Since then, the iconic property has hosted Metropolitan Café, Metro Bar & Kitchen, and Bar Louie. A painting of Symon welcomes guests just inside the front door.

The restaurant, which opens Wednesday, August 24, is location number 13 for the Covington, Kentucky-based company. Agave & Rye is billed as a modern tequila and bourbon hall that serves “epic tacos.” The restaurant is known for its double-shelled tacos, which feature crunchy corn and soft flour shells sandwiched together by beans, queso, pimento or guacamole. Fillings and combinations range from the Plain Jane, stuffed with ground beef, shredded lettuce, white cheddar and diced tomato on up to the Crown Jewel starring butter-and-garlic lobster, shiitake mushrooms and truffle mac and cheese. Others feature kangaroo meat, Nathan’s hot dogs, carne asada and tater tots.The bar stocks one of the largest bourbon and tequila selections around, which wind up in punches, slushies and margaritas that can be purchased by the glass, mug or pitcher. Agave & Rye seats 280 guests indoors and another 100 on the wraparound patio, which currently is being improved. Down the road, a lower level speakeasy called Alibi Room will add a premium spirits experience to the mix.

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