Worm on the Street 

Tequila bar coming to The Gulch

Music industry veterans Ken Levitan, Chris Ferran and Ross Schilling hope their latest California souvenir will worm its way into local appetites with the same success as the phenomenon of wearing sunglasses indoors.
There has long been a cultural trade route between L.A. and Music City, with jet-setting record execs bringing the latest trends—everything from skinny jeans to raw food—home from the West Coast. Music industry veterans Ken Levitan, Chris Ferran and Ross Schilling hope their latest California souvenir will worm its way into local appetites with the same success as the phenomenon of wearing sunglasses indoors.

Levitan, Ferran and Schilling—along with Gulch real estate barons Steve Armistead and Bill Barkley of Crosland developers—plan to open Agave Tequila Lounge, an upscale bar and restaurant specializing in the south-of-the-border booze. Modeled after similar places in Los Angeles, Agave will serve some 100 tequilas, ranging from the $6 variety to premium pours in the $75 range. Party planner Scott Sherrill will serve as general manager.

“Tequila is like wine in that people are really into the way it is aged and bottled,” says Ferran, president of Combustion Music. “It will be the kind of place where people come to sip tequilas, not pound ’em down.” He adds that Agave likely won’t include the stratospheric prices—as high as $200 a shot—found in some L.A. boutique bars.

Facing 12th Avenue South on a property adjacent to Radius10 restaurant, Agave will occupy the former Pie Wagon site at the corner of McGavock. Ferran describes the transformation of the classic meat-and-three landmark into a style more along the lines of “nouveau Mexican.” Outdoor seating will be available. Agave is slated to open in August, with a dinner-only menu of authentic Mexican cuisine. In time, the restaurant might expand to lunch, Ferran says.

118 12th Ave. S.

Second wish granted

Shiva and Mo Karimy, the couple behind the Fat Mo’s chain of burgers and the Middle Eastern dining oasis known as Genie’s Persian Palace, have opened a second Genie’s next to the H.G. Hill store at the intersection of East Thompson Lane and Murfreesboro Road. If Genie’s II is anything like the original at the corner of Moores Lane and Franklin Road, expect a glorious all-you-can-eat buffet of earthy stews, juicy kebabs, colorful salads and homemade yogurt and butter, as well as fresh baklava and rollette, a European cake reminiscent of a jelly roll filled with fresh cream. Located in a former Captain D’s building, Genie’s the sequel will seat several times the number of diners as the flagship store, so no more waiting in line to tuck into kashk, fesenjan and gormeh sabzi. Now, what’s your next wish?

1133 Murfreesboro Road, 366-8988. Open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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