Agave House Modern Cocina to Open in Main Gate Square

UniConcepts, the Tucson-based hospitality group behind Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company and Bacio Italiano, announced the expansion of its University Boulevard footprint with its newest concept, Agave House Modern Cocina. 

Anchoring the northwest corner of University Boulevard and Park Avenue, in the University of Arizona’s Main Gate Square, the new eatery boasts a menu that celebrates the regional and diverse traditions of Mexico, serving up what its principals call “all the flavors and fun of Mexico in one setting.”

“Our vision for Agave House is to capture the culture and essence of Mexico through its distinct regions, which, from a culinary perspective, are really quite diverse,” said Richard Fifer, managing partner of UniConcepts. “We look forward to serving our House guests in the decidedly lively and artful atmosphere that we’ve created.”

Dishes on the Agave House menu, from tacos to enchiladas, ceviches to center-of-the-plate entrees, are built from locally sourced foods and ingredients to the greatest extent possible.

More than 10 “small bite” plates introduce the House experience, including queso flameado, with grilled nopales and a melty Oaxacan cheese blend, and hearts of palm ceviche, with lemongrass vinaigrette. A spectrum of seven tacos is also available, including salmon, carne asada, sweet potato, and pork pibil, as are entrees such as ribeye chimichurri, bone-in pork chop, achiote roasted chicken, and grilled salmon. Burro bowls, enchiladas, salads, soups, salsas, and sides round out the menu, with a confectionery conclusion of tres leches, churros, and pastel de elote.

The full-service bar features more than 100 agave-based spirits, with themed flights and other fun ways to sip and celebrate at the House, as well as a line-up of signature cocktails that each has a story of its own – its unique “el cuento” – to tell. Signature cocktails include the Smoke and Mur, with mezcal, lime, and blackberry, the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, with reposado Tequila, mezcal, chile liqueur, bitters, and agave nectar, and the Prickly Pear Margarita, with Tequila, agave nectar, prickly pear syrup, and lime. Both Mexican and domestic beers are available with 10 taps complementing a selection of wines and sangrias.

House guests will be as captivated by the setting as they are by the cuisine and cocktails. With a modern design that integrates industrial touches, the restaurant exudes a sense of warmth and wonder, where picturesque scenes play out with the sights and sounds of Mexico. The 3,500-square foot space, designed by local architecture firm Aesthetic Effect, LLC and built by Tucson’s Burkdelle Contractors, accommodates 140 House guests both inside and outside on its completely reimagined patio.

Overseeing House operations is partner, general manager, and director of culinary service Jonah Gomes, a restaurant industry veteran who brings nearly 25 years of kitchen experience in Arizona, Oregon, California, and Alaska. He has worked in several Southern Arizona restaurants, including those at Casino Del Sol, JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, and Del Lago Golf Club.

Hours of operation are 11 am – 11 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am – 2 am Friday and Saturday. Both dine-in and take-out are available, and the House will validate parking in the Tyndall Avenue Parking Garage.

Agave House is located at 943 E. University Boulevard, #171 on the northwest corner of University Boulevard and Park Avenue. 

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