True to the saying “out with the old and in with the new,” Agave’s Rum & Tequila Bar has taken over a three-story brick building, bringing in a hip vibe with a modern flair. Albert Geldmacher is the entrepreneur and man behind the moves, and it’s not his first time opening a restaurant.
Geldmacher started dabbling in the restaurant industry at an early age. He worked in the kitchen behind the scenes and on the floor as a bus boy to later become a waiter and bartender.
After becoming an accountant and pursuing a career in finance and commercial real estate, Geldmacher found his niche as a business broker. His dream of owning a restaurant started falling into place when he bought his own For Sale By Owner, in Sag Harbor eight years ago. After running a deli for a few years, Geldmacher purchased another building and opened Agave’s South of the Border, a small spot for Mexican takeout.
"I didn’t keep it for very long because I wanted to get bigger,” said Geldmacher. “I kept the name, sold the business. I wanted my next place to be somewhere I could add tequila into the mix.”
It’s now the fifth season for in Hampton Bays, another one of Geldmacher’s spots that he recently sold. His next restaurant would be farther west where rent was more realistic with this challenging economy. For this latest project here in Westhampton Beach, Geldmacher dropped the “Blue Cactus,” and replaced it with “Rum & Tequila Bar.”
What was once a part of a business plan has now turned into an investment. He even jokes when he says that opening a new restaurant is like giving birth because of the commitment needed to make it a success.
“This one was hard but it’s my kind of lifestyle and I’m here to stay.”
Since it opened on Memorial Day weekend, Geldmacher has taken care of it like his own and his excitement is evident.
“The building is great and parts of it are still original,” he said. “We’ve cleared it out and I am slowly cleaning it up.”
While previous owners used the space mostly for a club, Geldmacher hopes that Agave’s will be a place where to sit down for dinner, before the night begins and maybe end up staying. Instead of the menu being solely Tex-Mex, it’s more of a spicy southwest Mexican cuisine with “a little bit of everything.”
The proud owner says it’s all about the sauces and finding the right compromise to meet everyone’s palates. Unlike the Blue Cactus in Hampton Bays, Agave’s Rum & Tequila Bar offers a spicier variety of dishes including Curry Coconut Shrimp in addition to other moderately priced main course menu items.
To make going out more realistic in today’s economy, Geldmacher put together weekly drink and dinner specials. On Mondays you can order 2 for 1 quesadillas; Tuesdays, 2 for 1 burritos; Wednesday $5 margaritas and mojitos, Thursday a Southwest BBQ special for $12.95 and during the weekends customers can look forward to live music and dancing.
Geldmacher intends to use the spacious upstairs as a music venue for live bands and concerts. He also says there’s potential to keep it open year round.
“We will take advantage of the three floors,” he said. “We’ll start on the first floor for dining and drinks and work our way up as we go.”