Idaho Chuck’s is now Agave, will differ from TwistedHere’s a new twist in the downtown restaurant scene: Twisted is out, and in its place is Agave Kitchen, which promises to be much different from its predecessor.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Here’s a new twist in the downtown restaurant scene: Twisted is out, and in its place is Agave Kitchen, which promises to be much different from its predecessor.
After a month of significant renovations occurred inside while the front and side windows were covered with a tarp, the barrier to public viewing came down at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21. That evening, while largely for people who helped reconstruct the interior, other diners from off the street got to see the secrets of the new Agave.
Owner Paul Rode, who headed Idaho Chucks in North Hudson before he moved downtown as Agave, promises an establishment that is more colorful, lively and clean. All of the staff, including chef and managers, shifted over to the new place and the menu will be the same as when it was Idaho Chucks, Rode said.
However, there is new flooring, the back area of the first story has been made more spacious by moving walls, there is a new kitchen, and the third floor is now called the Bullpen Cantina and has its own bathroom.
The cantina has been created by establishing a bigger bar rail in the middle along the north wall, part of an effort to make the whole place seem more roomy and have more seating.
“This will be a different look. A lot of Murphy’s Oil Soap,” Rode said, adding that even some rewiring was needed.
There will be no live music, at least to start, but the stage on the third floor has been kept intact for a possible change in plans down the line. However, Rode said the history of the place means live music didn’t really work.
“We’ll need to establish ourselves as a restaurant before entertaining that concept,” Rode said. “We want to make people feel welcome, entertained and comfortable.”
Agave offers a version of Idaho Chucks, which had to leave because of lease considerations, that is in a more “metro setting,” Rode said. It will be open 10:30 a.m. until closing, and will never shut down early, Rode pledges.
There is no smoking on the first floor, and the third will only allow that option after 10 p.m. “There is a natural barrier of sorts,” Rode says, adding the downstairs will be family friendly, and the upstairs a bit more raucous, although there thus far have often been children present on the third floor while their parents ate.
The cantina will have specials during games such as football and hockey, and also has other electronic games along the west wall. When people order drinks, it will offer them in glasses that are an entire liter in size — the equivalent of more than three regular sized drinks — for about $5. That will reward customers who stay for a while, rather than quickly hit the next place, and Rode emphasizes that if people really need it, he’ll make sure they get a cab ride home.
His goal will not be to compete with other restaurants within a block or two, but be an enhancement for the entire area. “This will mean more people downtown,” Rode said, noting that he has been connected with both Barker’s and San Pedro. “The best dining is right here in their back yard.”
And as far as the meaning of the word Agave? It is a cactus from which tequila is produced, in keeping with the flavor of a Santa Fe grill that is also a sports bar.
For more information, call (715) 381-0099 or visit www.agavekitchen.com.