Update: Blue Agave opens its doors today on East 4th Street. Read all about Alex Martinez's new restaurant in the former Zocalo space below.
(Original story 4/14/22): Since taking over the former Zocalo spot on East 4th Street, Alex Martinez and his team have been busy transforming the 14-year-old, two-level restaurant into something a bit more current.
“The bones were beautiful, but we want it to be more trendy and modern,” Martinez explains.
All that stands between Blue Agave (2071 East 4th St., 216-417-2545) and its first customers are a few permits, new signage and a sizeable booze delivery, Martinez says. He hopes to open the restaurant sometime next week.
Martinez and his partnership group operate numerous Northeast Ohio restaurants, including Tres Potrillos, Jalapenos, El Palenque, Fiesta Habaneros, Tito’s Mexican Grill, Tacologist and Blue Habanero.
“It will be more like Blue Habanero and Tacologist,” Martinez says of the restaurant.
The menu offers appetizers like chips and salsa, guacamole, Mexican street corn, seafood nachos and queso with various topping options. Street tacos are served on house-made corn tortillas and feature fillings like chicken tinga, slow-cooked pork, grilled fish and garlic shrimp. If you go the “bowl” route, you’ll get one filled with greens, black beans, cilantro rice and salsa topped with your choice of vegetable, fish, seafood or meat. In the entrée department, there are traditional platters like fajitas, burritos and chimichangas mixed with house specialties such as seafood-stuffed chile rellenos and carne asada.
To drink, there are cocktails like Palomas, Mojitos and Mexican Mules, signature margaritas made with fresh-squeezed fruit juices, and an all-Mexican draft beer list.
Martinez was hand-picked to take over the space by Ari Maron of MRN.
“What we do on East 4th Street is try to collect the best operators in the city and put them all on one street so it becomes a destination,” says Maron. “These guys are the best; everything from the design and construction to the operation.”