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New restaurant mixing tacos, tequila and bourbon coming to Liberty Center

A tequila-and-bourbon dining hall that boasts unconventional tacos is opening a new location in Butler County.

Agave & Rye plans to debut in mid October at Liberty Center with a menu that features 17 “Epic” tacos, seven street tacos, 76 tequilas and 87 bourbons.

“We love the center and we love the developers of the center,” said co-owner Yavonne Sarber. “It’s just such a growing area up there. We’re super excited and think it’s a really good fit.”

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The restaurant will replace Cantina Laredo, which closed this month.

Sarber and her husband, Wade, opened Agave & Rye in a 2,500-square-foot space in Covington, Kentucky in 2018 and in a 4,100-square-foot location in Lexington in June. The new 5,000-square-foot Liberty Twp. location will resemble the Lexington spot, but with a larger kitchen and prep area, Sarber said.

“It’s great,” she said. “We’re going to do some production and catering out of it.”

The Agave & Rye menu features gourmet specialty tacos and craft cocktails. Beer and wine are also available.

A lineup of dining options features traditional Mexican street favorites, like a grilled chicken taco, plus “epic tacos” such as “The Crown Jewel” (a poached lobster mac and cheese), “The Sensei” (soy-and-ginger kangaroo tenderloin), “The All Nighter” (duck confit) and “The Gator Hater” (crispy Cajun alligator with spicy bourbon andouille jambalaya).

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Sarber, who worked for master chefs and restaurants for 15 years and as a restaurateur for 11 years, said it’s important that Agave & Rye offer items that stand out.

“We feel that side of it is such a part of our brand, where people like to have that adventurous side,” she said. “It’s not every day that you can go to a taco place and get that, let alone even normal restaurants. You don’t find kangaroo and alligator on a typical menu.”

Three weeks ago, Agave & Rye locations launched their “authentic street tacos” offerings, which delve more into traditional fare but are “pretty epic themselves,” Sarber said.

Liberty Center’s Agave & Rye will feature something not available at the other two locations: corn street tacos made from scratch, she said.

We’ll see how that goes there and if it’s how we think it will go, we’ll launch it at all the locations,” Sarber said.

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The new Liberty Center restaurant will be staffed by 60 employees. Leadership and supervisors are in the process of being hired. Agave & Rye will start hiring hourly employees in about two weeks, she said. Those who wish to apply may contact the business via its website, www.agaveandrye.com, or via Facebook.

The Sarbers are planning to open as many as five Agave & Rye locations in 2020 and 10 to 15 per year from 2021 onward. A third Cincinnati-area Agave & Rye will open in the near future in Oakley, Sarber said, but a location and opening date are not yet being disclosed.

A new location is slated to open at 426 Baxter Ave. in Louisville by February and other locations are in the works including Oakley, Indianapolis and Nashville.

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