Agave Grill News & Reviews

Restaurant group looks forward to the opening of latest eatery
By Harry Kyle
The Southington Citizen – January 29, 2007

Southington has never been known as a “trendy” type of town, but it appears the first steps toward attaining that reputation have been taken with the Agave Grill and Tequila Bar set to join Star bucks Coffee on Queen Street.

Southington resident Mike Hamlin and his partners in the Hartford Restaurant Group will be opening the restaurant, which they describe as an “upscale” restaurant serving the best in Mexican, Southwestern and Latin, as in Cuban, food.

Located just south of the Queen Street and I-84 intersection, Agave’s will be the second Southington restaurant run by the group, along with the Wood-n-Tap, which is just across the street from the new site. It is also the sixth eatery operated by the group in central Connecticut.

Al Ferranti, one of HRG’s managing partners, will operate the Southington restaurant, along with another managing partner, Wil Quijano.

Another partner, Bernie Gorski, will be the chef at the new restaurant.

“We wanted to come to Southington because it is a growing town, both residential and in its economy,” Gorski said. “Plus, its location in the center of the state and the highway access it has will enable us to attract customers from around the area and the state.”

“And we will attract people,” Ferranti said. “We have a pretty original concept here, and there’s nothing like it in the state.”

The new site already reflects the theme of the restaurant.

The facade of the building has been redone in earth tones, and the inside features walls decorated with Mexican, Spanish and Cuban art painted by a locally based South American artist. The dining and bar area will feature wrought iron railings, as well as wrought iron wall sconces and wall hangings made by a Mexican fabricator.

Gorski and two other partners traveled to Mexico to buy furnishings for the restaurant, shopping in small stores and villages there for handmade items. “We brought back about $3,000 worth of artifacts,” he said, “but the trip was worth it, since we probably would have paid about $9,000 for the same things here.”

The restaurant’s booths and tables will seat about 180 customers, and a mariachi band, along with a salsa guitarist, will provide the entertainment.

Agave’s will also have two patios, located on the north and south side of the building, seating about 85 people for outdoor dining.

The Agave Grill will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The menu will feature Spanish and Southwestern specialties, along with burgers and wings.

“Our signature attraction will be our tableside guacamole,” said Gorski, “which we make at the table in front of the customers.”

The Agave Grill will also offer about 60 different varieties of tequila, ranging from “blanco” tequila, which is fresh from the still, to “anejo” tequila, which is aged at from one to 10 years. “Reposado,” or “rested,” tequila will also be available.

They will also have a full service bar, featuring a choice wine list, mixed drinks and beer.

The partners have set a target date of Feb. 12 for the opening, but on Feb. 3 they will hold a “Family and Friends” dinner to thank everyone connected with the construction of the restaurant.

Any proceeds from that event will be donated to the Southington Science and Mathematics Initiative. “We’re very excited to be opening in Southington,” Ferranti said. “We’ve received a lot of positive response from the community, and we can’t wait to get up and running.”


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