Looking to strike while the iron is hot, Agave Tequila Bar and Restaurant has announced the signing of a lease for its third location: Middletown.
In an interview Jan. 14, Agave owner Mike Firetti said he and restaurant founder Chris McKeown have signed a 30-year lease for a location in western Middletown, near Amazon’s distribution center, off Hedgelawn Way. He said it’s near Two Stones Pub and the Route 301 interchange.
Firetti said Middletown was chosen as home of the restaurant’s first location outside Sussex County because it’s seeing a lot of growth. Agave has been considering a location there for a while, he said.
McKeown opened the original Agave on Second Street in Lewes in 2008. Firetti became a partner in the operation a couple of years ago. He and McKeown announced Agave’s expansion into downtown Rehoboth in August 2018. It took longer than expected to get city approval, but ultimately they were able to break ground on the Rehoboth Avenue location in October 2019.
Firetti said the Middletown restaurant will be 10,000 square feet, with a 1,350-square-foot patio area. It’s roughly the same size as the new restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, but all on one floor instead of two, he said.
Firetti said the Middletown location will not be the last for Agave. He said the company is currently in contract talks for locations in Wilmington and Annapolis, and he said there could be more after that.
Recognizing the fast pace of expansion, Firetti said McKeown and wife Jocelyn have taken measures to ensure the quality of service and food at the new restaurants are the same as customers have grown to love in Lewes. The McKeowns spent the past year and a half hiring great people and going over replication processes to ensure there’s a consistent product at all the restaurants, said Firetti.
Firetti said he expects the Middletown restaurant to open in the second quarter of 2021. Firetti said the Rehoboth restaurant is still projecting a summer 2020 opening.