Red Cheese Enchiladas (Photo courtesy of Agave House)

Latin-Inspired Cuisine & Late-Nite Eats at Agave House

March 2, 2024
By Matt Sterner

"We're excited for the future."

UniConcepts, the Tucson-based hospitality group behind Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company and Bacio Italiano, expanded its University Boulevard footprint just less than a year ago with its newest concept, Agave House Modern Cocina.

Since the grand opening in June 2023 at 943 E. University Blvd. #171, Agave House has been a convenient spot for students to dine, something new for folks from all over town, and anyone seeking local twists on classic dishes.

“As a chef, I find inspiration everywhere — from the freshness of seasonal ingredients to trips I have taken, and even the music playing while I cook,” said Chef Luis Barazza of Agave House. “Latin cuisine thrives on simple yet essential ingredients such as corn, rice, beans, and chilis. Starting with these basic components, I work from there, incorporating the flavors I love from each Mexican region.”

Dining room (Photo courtesy of Agave House Modern Cocina)

Gomes, hailing from seafood-rich Sinaloa, aims to bring a taste of coastal cuisine to the desert, and his culinary ethos extends beyond familiarity, embracing Tucson’s diverse culinary scene.

“I definitely wanted to have some dishes you might not see in the desert, like our Ahi Tuna Negra, and our salmon tacos,” Barazza added. “However, I try to utilize other prominent and familiar flavors and don’t limit myself to what is familiar to me. Tucson, much like Mexico itself, is a melting pot of cultures and flavors and I’m proud to contribute to the local food scene here at Agave House.”

Even though Agave House hasn’t even reached its one-year milestone yet, Gomes and the team are always finding ways to expand the menu without giving the concept an entirely new identity.

“As a brand-new business, we are always trying to evolve and expand,” said Jonah Gomes, Operating Partner/General Manager of Agave House. “We regularly update our menu with new cocktails and food specials. Right now we’re serving a loaded tamale that you can get with either green chile chicken or beef birria, as well as a margarita-style cocktail made with a tamarind liqueur.”

Balanced with the sweetness of blackberry and the tartness of lime, this Mezcal cocktail is the perfect introduction to the smoky spirit.
Smoke and Mure (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
The subtle heat from the guajillo chiles pairs perfectly with the Oaxacan cheese.
a bowl of food on a plate
Red Cheese Enchiladas (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
Tender beef birria enveloped in Oaxacan cheese, inside a fried corn tortilla, served with a braising jus for dipping.
a plate of food on a table
Quesabirria (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
A modern take on the traditional Mexican dessert, a sweet corn cheesecake served with cajeta and fresh strawberries. 
a piece of cake on a plate
Pastel de Elote (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
A bowl of cilantro lime rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, pico de gallo, pickled onions, and avocado, topped with a grilled piece of salmon and served with housemade salsa verde.
a plate of food on a table
Grilled Salmon Bowl (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
Mexican street corn smothered in chamoy, tajin, queso fresco, and lime.
a tray of food on a plate
Elote (Photo courtesy of Agave House)
Filled with Bavarian cream and served with both chocolate and cajeta dipping sauces.
Churros (Photo courtesy of Agave House)

Late Nights on Main Gate Square

Faced with a void in late-night dining along University Boulevard, Gomes and the team at Agave House took the initiative to provide a smaller menu for those looking to refuel, so to speak.

“When we noticed a lack of late-night food options on University Boulevard, we decided to open up a taco stand out front. It operates from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday through Saturday,” Gomes said. “We serve tacos and quesadillas, mostly to college kids who have been dancing the night away inside Agave House or walking home from another bar on the street.”

Plus, if you’re aiming to “dance the night away” with your friends or alone, the Agave House has your back in that department, too.

“We also host late-night events where we transform the restaurant into a nightclub with DJs and a dancefloor,” Gomes added. “The place becomes unrecognizable and you’d almost have a hard time believing it’s the same place you had lunch the day before. For us, this is just the start though, and we’re excited for the future of the business as a whole.”

Hours of Operation & Happy Hour

Agave House’s kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and then reopens from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. Happy Hour is 2 – 5 p.m. on Monday – Friday with $5 margaritas, $1 off draft beers, $3 salsa trio, $2 off a la carte tacos, and $10 flights.

Agave House is located at 943 E. University Blvd. #171, on the northwest corner of University Boulevard and Park Avenue. For more information, visit and follow Agave House on Instagram and Facebook.

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