The upcoming Agave Azul in Windermere Village will be the owner’s fifth Mexican restaurant.
| 5:17 p.m. October 19, 2017
WINDERMERE – The upcoming Windermere Village shopping center located at 5799 Winter Garden Vineland Road just finalized a deal for a new tenant.
Juan Rios, the owner of the popular Agave Azul Mexican Restaurant in Orlando, will be building a second location in the 10-acre shopping center that he expects to start construction on in March for a targeted opening in late summer 2018.
Rios said he chose Windermere Village Agave Azul’s second location because he serves many clients from Winter Garden in Windermere in his Orlando location, which has been in operation for 11 years.
Rios, who has been in the restaurant business since he graduated from high school, also owns La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Port Orange and Ormond Beach, and Saint Anejo Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria in Winter Springs.
The 6,000 square-foot Agave Azul planned for Windermere Village, which will include a full-service bar, outside seating and a live entertainment area, will be Rios’ fifth restaurant.
“My family’s been in the restaurant business for many years,” Rios said. “My mom and my father — they started their first restaurant in Virginia Beach, and once we moved down to Florida, we opened more. We used to own the Garibaldi’s in Apopka when it first opened years ago before we sold it to my uncle. And then from there we started expanding.”
The restaurant, Rios added, uses traditional Mexican recipes with a modern touch. The most popular dishes at the Orlando location are the Chicken Chipotle, Mahi Fernandez and Al Pastor Tacos, which is pork shoulder marinated in about 16 different spices that served with onions, cilantro and pineapple.
“The Chicken Chipotle is a popular dish,” he said. “It’s stuffed with Spanish ham and Mexican Oaxaca cheese and it has a little kick with the chipotle pepper. Our house margaritas are also really popular.”
The popular Maji Fernandez dish is grilled mahi-mahi marinated in lime and herb butter that comes with grilled shrimp, avocado salsa, Poblano peppers, Mexican rice and black beans.
Another popular menu option is the carnitas, he said, which is a Mexican pulled pork dish that is cooked over 24 hours with Mexican beer and raw sugar cane.
Rios said he is also opening a location in Winter Park in February 2018 and a location in Maitland in 2019.