Lisa Abraham

At long last, Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar, 54 E. Mill St., Akron, is set to open Friday.

Owners Zack and Lisa Hirt have been planning their eatery for three years and are excited to finally be opening the doors.

Zack has been a sous chef at Crave in downtown Akron, and Lisa has worked at Saffron Patch in the Merriman Valley.

The doors open for dinner Friday and Saturday. Lunch service begins Monday.

Restaurant hours will be Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. Lunch is served weekdays until 3 p.m.; the bar is open late, after the kitchen closes.

Phone 330-762-8000 or visit www.opentable.com to make a reservation.

Al’s in Barberton to move

Denny Gray, owner of Al’s Quality Market and Al’s Corner Restaurant in Barberton, is moving both of his businesses under one roof.

The move, expected on May 1, will combine the market and restaurant at 155 Second St. NW.

In recent months, Gray’s landlord had put the building where his market is located up for sale, causing concern among customers that the market was closing. That was never considered.

Al’s specializes in house-made sausages and a wide variety of Eastern European foods, at both the market and the restaurant.

Mardi Gras food available

Lent begins a week from today, and there will be plenty of eating to celebrate before the fasting begins.

• The Ido Bar & Grill is hosting its annual Mardi Gras Madness from 4 p.m. to close Friday through Monday, and all day on Fat Tuesday. Gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee and po’ boys will be on the menu, along with plenty of other Louisiana fare. Visit www.idobar.com for a complete menu or call 330-773-1724 for reservations.

• The West Side Bakery, 2303 W. Market St., Akron, and 1840 Town Park Blvd., Green, will be selling king cakes, cafe au lait and muffaletta sandwiches through Tuesday and will be frying fresh, hot beignets on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Phone 330-836-4101 (Akron) or 330-899-9968 (Green) to place an order or visit www.thewestsidebakery.com.

• On Tuesday, area IHOP restaurants once again will offer customers a free short stack of pancakes in exchange for a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The pancake giveaway is from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Locally, there are IHOP locations in Springfield Township, Jackson Township and Massillon. For information, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

Order Purim pastries

The Women’s Chavurah Sisterhood at Anshe Sfard Synagogue will be hosting its annual hamantashen sale in time for Purim.

The kosher pastries are homemade by Wendy Macher, and sell for $12 a dozen. The small triangle-shaped pastries are available in prune, apricot, raspberry, poppy seed, chocolate or assorted.

Prepaid orders must be placed by March 5, and can be picked up at Anshe Sfard, 646 N. Revere Road, Bath Township, from noon to 2 p.m. March 9.

Mail orders and payment made out to Women’s Chavurah to Hamantashen c/o Julie Geller, 2162 N. Hametown Road, Akron, OH 44333. For more information, phone Geller at 330-805-6535.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the sisterhood’s community programs.

Wine tasting is set

Ken Stewart’s Grille, 1970 W. Market St., Akron, is hosting a wine-tasting dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 5, featuring Cinnabar Wines.

Suzanne Frontz, president of Cinnabar Winery, will be the guest speaker. The meal will include a jumbo lump crab cake, goat cheese and ricotta ravioli, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb and dessert, each with its own wine pairing.

The dinner is $65 plus tax and tip. Reservations are required; phone 330-867-2555.

Irish bread contest

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, 2000 Brown St., Akron, is hosting its annual Irish Bread Baking Contest on Saturday.

The contest is open to amateur bakers only, in three categories, traditional Irish white, traditional Irish brown and Irish scones. Prizes will be awarded for the winner in each category.

Entries must be dropped off between 7 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the club.

A $5 entry fee covers all three categories, but contestants are limited to one submission in each category.

For details or an entry form, contact Colleen McKenzie at 330-825-8393 or at cjmckenzie2002@yahoo.com.

Charity wine event

Uncork a Cure: Akron Wine Opener, a wine tasting event to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is set for 7 to 10 p.m. March 7 at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., Akron.

Wines for the event will be provided by 750ml Wines, and food will be offered by more than a dozen local restaurants and purveyors.

A VIP reception begins at 6 p.m., and includes an exclusive wine tasting. Tickets are $65 in advance, $70 at the door, and $110 for VIP advance, $120 for VIP at the door.

For tickets or more information, visit http://Northern?OH.cff.org/akronwine or call the chapter at 216- 475-2873.

Feel like a splurge?

Papa Joe’s Restaurant in the Merriman Valley is hosting a James Bond Dinner to Die For beginning at 7 p.m. March 28.

The six-course meal features a trip around with world with each course taking its theme from one of the Bond movies.

There’s caviar from Russia, veal from Austria, Italian lamb, filet mignon from the U.S. and dessert from France. Each course is paired with wine.

The dinner is $229, and reservations must be made by March 21 by calling 330-923-7999.

Lisa Abraham can be reached at 330-996-3737 or at labraham@thebeaconjournal.com. Find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @akronfoodie or visit my blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/lisa.