SNEAK PEEK: We take you inside the new Agave & Rye that opens next week in Troy



Workers are putting the finishing touches on the large new Agave & Rye on Troy’s town square, and its founders are still hoping to open the restaurant and bar late next week, as long as state and local mandates permit it, according to a spokesman for the fast-growing regional chain.

“Right now, we are still working towards the opening date of Nov. 27. It is our hope that we are able to support the community in this way,” the spokesman for Agave & Rye said. “This is pending the governmental mandate, but there are plans to make the Troy location operational in some capacity,” such as carryout and curb-side delivery and other options, the spokesman said.

Agave & Rye officials invited this news outlet in for a sneak peek late last week as workers were busy finishing the build-out of the new restaurant-bar, which is located in the space at 2 N. Market St. that formerly housed La Piazza Italian restaurant. So take the sneak peek with us here:

The first Agave & Rye opened in Covington, Ky. in early 2018. The chain added locations in Liberty Township a year ago and in the Rookwood Center in northern Cincinnati earlier this year. It also operates locations in Lexington and Louisville. Its concept has generated some industry buzz: a story published in August 2019 on, which covers the full-service restaurant industry, was headlined: “Agave & Rye’s Ambitious Plan to Open 100 Locations: The spirit-infused bar and restaurant is planning a Midwest takeover.”

Agave & Rye co-founder Yavonne Sarber told this news outlet in a phone interview Sarber promised customers they will have “a total epic experience” at the restaurant. In fact, the word “epic” is used on the Agave & Rye home page to describe the food, drinks and environment, too.

“We want you to not be able to wait until the next time you come back,” Sarber said in an interview.

Each Agave & Rye is in essence a tequila bar and a bourbon bar inside a Mexican-inspired restaurant. The Troy location, like its sister restaurants, will feature a selection of 87 tequilas and 87 bourbons.

The food menu includes 20 specialty double-shell (crunchy corn and soft flour) tacos, including the “Swipe Right Honey," with lime-grilled chicken, sweet/spicy bacon, aged white cheddar, salsa and sour cream; the “Cat’s Meow White Cheddar,” with grits, Andouille sausage, bourbon shrimp, green onion, jambalaya sauce and crispy bell pepper; the “Crown Jewel,” with butter-poached lobster, shiitake mushrooms, mac 'n’ cheese, truffle oil and shavings and green onions; and “The Big Thumper,” with peppercorn kangaroo meat, sticky rice, spicy chili and barbecue jam, fried egg and crispy carrots. A burger and a chicken sandwich also are offered. Citrus juices are squeezed fresh each day, and taco toppings and dips such as guacamole and queso are made in-house daily.

A new menu addition, a duck quesadilla served with Asian slaw, will make its debut in Troy, Sarber said.

The new Troy restaurant will have something else no other Agave & Rye location currently has: a video-game arcade with more than a dozen vintage video games, all free to play for customers.

The new restaurant has installed Plexiglass between all booths in the Troy restaurant, and takes the temperatures of employees before every shift, Sarber said. Each of its restaurants has a “Sanitation Ninja” on duty whenever the restaurant is open, whose sole duty is wiping down exposed surfaces. Curbside pickup will be available, and to-go orders can be placed by phone or online at the company’s web site, Catering will also be available.

The Agave & Rye co-founder said there are no immediate plans to add more Dayton-area locations, but she wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

“We didn’t think we would have more than one location in the greater Cincinnati market, and now we have three,” she said.

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