Bethany Clough

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill to open first restaurant in Fresno

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill serves dishes like this one. The 100-restaurant chain is planning to open a Fresno location in late September.
Cafe Rio Mexican Grill serves dishes like this one. The 100-restaurant chain is planning to open a Fresno location in late September. SPECIAL TO THE BEE

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill will soon open its first restaurant in Fresno.

The Salt Lake City-based chain of about 100 restaurants is planning to open a location at 242 E. River Park Circle, near Highway 41 and the new Dave & Buster’s.

Cafe Rio’s tentative opening date is Wednesday, Sept. 28.

This is another quick-service restaurant where customers pick what they want in their burritos, enchiladas, tacos, salads or quesadillas while the meal is made in front of them at a counter.

We make everything from scratch.

Jennifer Burns, Cafe Rio spokeswoman

It sounds a bit like Chipotle, doesn’t it? It even has cilantro-lime rice.

But Cafe Rio also offers tostadas, nachos, fire-grilled salmon, a choice of fire-grilled chicken or shredded chicken and two kinds of pork, with the sweet pork barbacoa a favorite among customers.

Everything is made from scratch, says Cafe Rio spokeswoman Jennifer Burns. Customers can watch tortillas being made in front of them, sauces simmer for seven to 10 hours and there are no freezers or microwaves.

“Each of our locations squeezes over 1,000 limes per day,” she says.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

  Comments