El Agave to offer twist on Mexican food

A new restaurant is opening soon in the former location of La Bamba Mexican Restaurant. 

El Agave Mexican Grill plans to open in September and the owners want to give New Albany a modern and fresh twist on Mexican food.

Juan Leon and Moises Lemus are the new owners and are excited about getting into a business partnership together.

Lemus grew up in New Albany, graduated from New Albany High School, and worked his first job at Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant. After that job, he ended up working for Leon at another restaurant and the two have stayed in touch over the years.

Leon owns three Mexican restaurants in different towns and the one in New Albany makes four for him. Lemus has never owned a restaurant before, but besides his business-related jobs, he has worked in restaurants since he was a teenager.

Leon said that the décor will be changed from how it looked when the restaurant was La Bamba. Walls will be painted differently, new lights, tables and chairs will be added, new paintings will be placed on the walls, more televisions will be hung on the walls, and more.

The bar and patio area will essentially remain the same except for the decorations. Beer and light wine will be sold at the restaurant.

Leon and Lemus had discussed wanting to open a restaurant together and when the space became available, they went to the property owner, John Young, and worked out an agreement.

Leon lives in Corinth and Lemus has been living in Starkville while he was finishing up his business degree at Mississippi State University, but now he plans to move to New Albany.

Lemus said that he loves working in a restaurant.

“I love the fast-paced environment in a restaurant and I love the contsant interaction with customers and talking to people every day,” said Lemus.

Lemus said that there are differences that make this restaurant unique compared to other Mexican restaurants.

“We will use an open-flame grill for cooking steak and chicken and we will also concentrate on fresher products. We will be just as efficient as other restaurants and still have fresh products,” Lemus said. “We want to move away from the traditional restaurants and make this one have a modern taste to it. We will concentrate on the plate presentation and make fresher food with fresh ingredients.”

For example, the guacamole and the salsa will be made fresh on site.

 El Agave Mexican Grill will be located at 650 Park Plaza Drive. A ribbon cutting ceremony and a grand opening will be scheduled at a later date.