San Tan Valley, AZ

Café Rio celebrates new San Tan Valley location with a celebration event

Timothy Rawles
Cafe RioCafe Rio: Facebook

By Timothy Rawles / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill is getting ready to open a new location in San Tan Valley on June 10. The restaurant is famous for its sweet pork Barbacoa among other delicious and fresh offerings.

The first restaurant opened 25 years ago in St. George Utah by couple Steve and Patricia Stanley. It is a fast-casual, made-to-order restaurant.

The “Rio” in its name comes from the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas, and New Mexico. The love of food from this area is the inspiration for their menu.

Their business model at the time was to make all their dishes with fresh ingredients. That credo was carried over in 2004 when Bob Nilsen bought all six of Stanley’s stores. In 2013 Café Rio won its fifth Sandelman & Associates Best Mexican Restaurant award along with being the nation’s number one overall quick-service restaurant.

This newest location is located in the Johnson Ranch community right across from the Fry’s marketplace.

The grand opening is going to be two days full of fun and prizes. On Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., they have scheduled games like Plinko and corn hole where up to 100 attendees can win a free meal. Fresh chips and their signature Pico de Gallo will be on hand for only $1.99.

“We love bringing our fresh, scratch-made Mexican meals to more and more fans,” says Steve Vaughan, CEO of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. “For 2022, we’re focusing on growing within our existing footprint, making it more convenient for our fans to enjoy their Cafe Rio favorites. In future years, we look forward to expanding into new markets and satisfying the cravings of our fans that have moved to other parts of the country, as well as earning new fans that may have never had the opportunity to experience our amazing food.”

So far in 2022, the restaurant has 146 locations spanning 11 states.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our fresh food, made fresh to more people in Arizona,” commented Steve Vaughan, CEO of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. “The residents of Johnson Ranch in San Tan Valley are going to be excited to try our award-winning, flavor-packed, made from scratch recipes.”

The eatery is known for its fresh chef-Inspired flair. Food includes sweet pork burritos, enchilada style, and the fire-grilled chicken salad with creamy tomatillo dressing. Guests can also choose from burritos, salads, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. These dishes are all customizable.

For people on the go who want to order their meals ahead of time, Cafe Rio is rewarding their mobile app users with every purchase. First-time users will receive a $5 credit in their account and $10 per every 100 points thereafter.

“It’s a special event when a Cafe Rio opens, for both employees and fans,” Vaughan told QSR. “Our team is passionate about our food, and we hope our guests can feel the hard work and love we put into each restaurant opening.”

Café Rio’s Johnson Ranch location is at 611 East Hunt Highway.

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Timothy Rawles has been a journalist for over 20 years. He has written for global publications in San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix. His favorite stories are features, interviews, entertainment news, and local stories.

San Tan Valley, AZ

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