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New Restaurant Zapata Coming to 8th and Madison

Zepata, a new cantina-style restaurant is coming to Covington at the corner of 8th Street and Madison Avenue in a building that once was home to a Frisch's restaurant.

Alex Rodriquez, the restaurant's general manager, said Zepata will have a small menu featuring modern takes on classic Mexican dishes and strong emphasis on cocktails made with Mezcal and tequila. He also said the restaurant will have a wood aesthetic, with seating for 88-90 people, and a designated outdoor seating area along 8th street. 

Gary Rodriquez, Alex's father, has opened 27 restaurants and said his vision is to have a small menu with excellent food, a robust bar area, TVs - but no sports, and a section of the restaurant that is behind lock and key for patrons that have bought an entire bottle of Mezcal or tequila to keep and drink at the restaurant. Gary eluded that this 'bunker room' for bottle service was going to function as a status symbol for visitors.

Gary seemed proud that his vision was coming to fruition with both his son Alex and his daughter Sandra.  

Eric Steiden, who bought the building with his business partner in July of 2017, said that he was happy to have Gary working on the project, which started around August of last year. 

"Gary knows exactly what he's doing with this space," Steidan said, "which is important because we are on the fringes of some major developments in the area and I think it's going to continue the momentum of those developments doing Madison Avenue." 

"That corner is really important," he said. "The development in that area is exploding.

"Gary walked in there and said that he got it, he understood. I hope that this project created some interest in that part of the city." 

"The next six weeks will completely change the look of this building," Gary Rodriguez said. "We will be building and doing many projects very fast."

Zepata is expected to open at the end of February.

Written by Connor Wall, associate editor

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