Agave & Rye Opens in Rookwood Exchange with a Dessert Bar and Vintage Arcade

The colorful spot boasts a sprawling patio, graffiti art, and paintings of American icons.

Taco lovers can now experience an “epic” night out at Agave & Rye in Rookwood. The Covington-based taqueria and bourbon and tequila hall opened its new Ohio location this week, soon to be followed by establishments in Troy and New Albany, Indiana.

Photograph courtesy of Agave & Rye

Similar to the chain’s other locations, the Rookwood eatery boasts funky decor, larger-than-life murals, and some truly decadent tacos. “This one brings in a whole new color palette and new art,” says founder and CEO Yavonne Sarber. With a pleasing mix of glamor and street-styled art familiar to the brand, the new location sees colorful depictions of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Betty White, and Randy Savage, to name a few.

Photograph courtesy of Agave & Rye

“With the design, we put some special effort in really highlighting the diversity that our brand embraces,” she adds. “You’re going to see when you walk in the door that we’ve got an awesome MLK mural—it’s refreshing and it’s beautiful.”

Unlike the Agave & Rye at Liberty Center, the new location houses a vintage arcade, complete with nostalgic favorites like Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and Pac-Man. “It was wildly successful in Louisville,” Sarber says. “It’s free. It’s complimentary for our guests, and it’s just so much fun.”

The Rookwood eatery also boasts the brand’s first-ever sit-down dessert bar. Utilizing a pizza-turned-dessert oven, guests can indulge in skillet carrot cake, berry cobbler, and lava cake, as well as housemade nitro ice cream.

Photograph courtesy of Agave & Rye

“For the first time, we have an executive culinary chef on the team,” Sarber says. “Before, we were kind of limited in what our offerings were. Now, we have someone that has the culinary background to get into all this fun, trendy stuff.”

A few of those new offerings include molecular gastronomy, mango caviar, and the chain’s first-ever non-taco options, such as the “epic” chicken sandwich and burger. As for beverages, Rookwood continues Agave & Rye’s signature massive bourbon and tequila selection—and a sizable wine list—displayed on a custom, suspended bar. One new must-try cocktail is the hibiscus habanero margarita.

Sarber says the brand’s expansion was initially put on hold in the wake of COVID-19, but now they’re ready to hit the ground running. To keep customers safe, the Rookwood location offers a full-time staff of “sanitation ninjas,” socially distanced tables, and a sprawling patio.

Agave & Rye, 3825 Edwards Rd., Oakley, (513) 622-8228

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