Get ready Mexican food fans: Agave Azul is coming soon to Winter Park.
Residents can expect the modern Mexican eatery to open its doors sometime in February 2018 at the former location of Square 1 Burgers at 900 S. Orlando Ave., owner Juan Rios said.
The new location is just one of three slated to open throughout Central Florida in the next couple years, including a Maitland location, expected to open in mid 2019 at the Shoppes at Trelago at 1070 Maitland Blvd.; and a Windermere restaurant, set for late 2018 at the Windermere Village development at 5799 Winter Garden-Vineland Road.
“Winter Park is a thriving area, and our clientele base is kind of in that area, as well,” Rios said. “It was actually spur of the moment. We were focused on our Windermere location and Maitland. … I got a phone call from our broker, and they said there was an opportunity but that it was going to go fast, because Winter Park real estate is quick. We went for it, and we got it.”
The Mexican restaurant has built a reputation from its west Orlando location at the corner of Conroy and Kirkman roads, blending fresh ingredients with a modern atmosphere and taste all in one family-friendly package since 2008.
From fajitas and enchiladas to queso fundido and sweet churros, Agave offers a tasty range of Mexican dishes with a unique twist.
“It’s a little bit more modern,” Rios said. “We still have the traditional aspect of it, but we can threw in more of a modern touch and more of a current cuisine in Mexico. Everyone thinks in Mexico its just tacos and enchiladas, but when you go to Mexico City nowadays, the culinary food experience is way more than what people think.”
Rios’ start in the food industry can be traced back through his mother’s side of the family, who own about 73 restaurants across the East Coast. It began with the family’s first Mexican restaurant in Virginia Beach called La Fiesta, where Rios saw the business firsthand. After graduating from Lake Brantley High School, Rios decided he wanted to follow in his parents footsteps and run his own restaurant.
He was put in charge of the Port Orange La Fiesta location at age 17.
“My dad left me there; he gave me the keys to an apartment and said, ‘I’ll be back in a month,’ so I had to learn kind of quick,” Rios said. “The first year was tough, but after that, I learned the ropes.”
The young restaurateur went on to open Agave Azul at age 20. He currently runs two La Fiesta locations in Ormond Beach and Port Orange as well, along with a Saint Anejo location in Winter Springs.
Rios said he’s excited to spread the Agave Azul concept throughout the Central Florida area.
“It’s just something that’s been on hold,” he said. “I have a family with a 4-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. We were thinking about expanding years ago, but I decided to take some time for the family. Now that they’re growing up and going to school, we decided to hit the gas pedal, floor it and see how big we can expand. I’m excited just to bring Agave Azul to Winter Park and give that community some good Mexican.”