Whether a building constructed in 1950 qualifies as an historic structure is a question for the preservationists to ponder according to their criteria of bricks, mortar and architectural styles. But every building has a history. The one at 324 E. Main in New Albany was a filling station, then a tire shop; later it served as a Tumblebus depot and art studio.

The prolific New Albany firm of Resch Construction acquired the building in 2017 and set about transforming it completely for use as an eatery, and subsequently Hull & High Water opened in September 2017, closing a little more than two years later.

New Albany’s Hull & High Water is winding down, will close “soon”

During the period just before the advent of COVID-19, Resch Construction began entertaining lease proposals for 324 E. Main, confiding to me that there was no hurry to ink a deal. The important thing was to find the right fit.

It would seem this mission has been accomplished with the prospective arrival of an Agave & Rye eatery, as Louisville Business First’s Haley Cawthon revealed last week.

She writes, “I confirmed the New Albany news with Jason Fryman, assistant general manager of the Louisville restaurant. He said Agave & Rye has recently signed a lease on the 4,000-square-foot restaurant situated next to the Ohio River, and they are tentatively planning for a February 2021 opening date.”

As Cawthon notes, with the addition of Agave & Rye restaurants in New Albany, Rookwood OH and Troy OH, the company will have grown to seven regional locations in three states. Judging from this 2019 interview with co-founder Yavonne Sarber at El Restaurante, the brand roll-out seems likely to continue.

When we opened the Covington location, we had absolutely no thought of expanding at all, actually. We thought this would be the one and only. From day one when we opened our doors it was a success. And it kept building and building and we had quite a few investment people that approached us, but we weren’t interested in sitting down with them at all. But, there was one individual in particular who loved our concept so much. He kept coming in with his family, and with his colleagues, like three or four times a week. And every time he’d come in for lunch he’d just say, “I want to grow you. I want to grow you.” Finally, in August of last year we agreed to sit down with him and found that our ethic, his character, everything that we are about matched with his. We ended up signing on with him last October. So, here we go.

We’ll continue to monitor this story as 2021 draws closer.