First Look: Avo Modern Mexican, Opening Soon in Ohio City


  • Douglas Trattner
  • Gabriel Zeller
Gabriel Zeller and Julie Mesenburg are putting the finishing touches on Avo Modern Mexican (2058 W. 25th St., 216-331-6961) in Ohio City. The pair eagerly snatched up the former Bakersfield Tacos space a few months ago and have been working to ready it for opening day, which should occur before the end of the month.

“Everything was pretty much in place,” says Zeller.

The largely turnkey restaurant required very little in the way of construction, but that didn’t stop management from making some pretty dramatic improvements. The glue-and-stick vinyl flooring has been replaced with real wood, the raw-cement wraparound bar has been glossed over with a slick epoxy, new furniture provides a stylish and comfortable place to sit, and a fresh coat of paint – avocado green, naturally – does much to brighten up the room.

While Bakersfield had an occupancy permit allowing 145 guests, Zeller is setting the table for a few spots more than 80 to accommodate social distancing. When spring rolls back around and the patio is reborn, there will be room for another 30 or so on the other side of the garage doors.

Zeller and Mesenburg, who also operate Char in Rocky River, Barra Tacos in Sandusky and Amherst, and Lago at Lakeside, a seasonal eatery in Marblehead, will be taking a creative approach to Latin cuisine. Zeller says that while he's been cooking Mexican foods since he was old enough to press tortillas, Avo is inspired by trips to places like Dallas, where contemporary Mexican, Tex-Mex and Latin-fusion foods are elevated to fine-dining experiences.

The full lunch/dinner menu is attached below.
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Douglas Trattner

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