Despite a comprehensive remodel, stellar patio and plenitude of positive press, the downtown Dallas branch of Agave Azul has temporarily closed due to lack of business.
Owner Zotico Reyes says that the restaurant is, for now, "in hibernation."
"Although we earned many loyal guests and exceptional reviews, we were not able to gain a large enough audience to support the business at this time," Reyes said in an email. "We will reopen in the near future when all the great projects in the downtown Farmers Market are completed."
Named after the blue agave tequila plant, Agave Azul first opened in Carrollton with Mexican food, award-winning margaritas and more than 200 tequilas. Reyes opened the downtown spinoff in April in the new Lone Star Gas Lofts building with a name-brand chef: Sebastian Royo, a 2013 Hell's Kitchen contestant. Royo left in May with plans to launch his own food truck, but the restaurant's patio was an eye-catcher and its margaritas earned critical nods.
The Farmers Market redevelopment is still in progress, says Tanya Ragan, president of the Farmers Market Stakeholders Association.
"We have over 20 restaurants coming to Shed 2, but that's still under construction," she says. "Shed 3 and Shed 4 were taken down within the last 30 days, to make way for retail and apartments.
"The Shed, formerly Shed 1, is going through transition. Mudhen, the restaurant from Shannon Wynne going where Caliper's was, is still under construction."
She points to Green Door Public House, the restaurant from the Uncle Uber folks that opened a year ago in July, as a success story for the neighborhood. "They've had tremendous support from the community, but they're closer to the market area," she says.
Reyes knew he was blazing a trail when he opened the restaurant on an edge of downtown that is still not quite populated. But another apartment complex on Cesar Chavez is nearing completion. Meanwhile, he'll make the space available for private parties and events.
"We look forward to reopening in early 2016," he says.