Tex-Mex joint set to open in downtown Riverhead

04/16/2012 12:00 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Restaurant owner Ken Loo describes where the salsa bar will be in his new restaurant, which he hopes to have open by the end of April.

About 10 years ago, restaurant owner Ken Loo began visiting nearby Spanish grocery stores. He would buy fresh ingredients to cook up tacos inside the kitchen at his West Main Street restaurant, Hy-Ting.

Now, the downtown Riverhead restaurateur is set to open his own Tex-Mex restaurant on East Main Street to share his love of burritos and tacos.

“It’s just a food I’ve always liked,” Mr. Loo said. “It’s amazing how easy it is, but people don’t have the time to put it together.”

Blue Agave, located behind Mr. Loo’s second restaurant, Haiku sushi, will serve tacos, burritos, and fajitas, he said. The shop will be similar to a Chipotle Mexican Grill and will feature fresh food made-to-order with meals going for under $10.

Mr. Loo hopes to open the restaurant by the end of April.

To differentiate Blue Agave from other taco joints, he said the eatery will specialize in exotic and seasonal sauces and salsa to put on the tacos. The shop will feature toppings like roasted corn salsa in the summer, and would mix ingredients like strawberries and cucumber to make unique sauces.

“With the toppings, we’re trying to kick it up a bit,” he said.

Blue Agave, named after the plant used to make tequila, will also serve beer, he said.

It has been more than a year since the Blue Door Gallery left the site of the new restaurant. Since then, workers have renovated the storefront, building a serving area that Mr. Loo designed to look like a hut, complete with stone accents.

The space will provide space for about 20 diners. Mr. Loo plans to make space for outdoor seating in the alleyway too.

psquire@timesreview.com