By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia
Civic and business leaders gathered outside Café Rio today for a ribbon-cutting before joining a throng of eager locals for the first lunch served at the national chain’s newest location at 13968 W. Waddell Road in Surprise.
The event, promoted on social media by Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce officials, drew a large crowd of would-be first-time diners, who waited patiently in line for the official grand opening.
Surprise Mayor Skip Hall praised the restaurant for their food as well as their philanthropy following the event.
“I think their approach to Mexican food is refreshing and there’s a real market for it in Surprise. I’m very excited they’re giving people in that part of town another option,” Mr. Hall said. “I also really appreciate their community outreach and their donation of $2,500 to Dysart schools.”
Restaurant officials were on hand and presented a check for $2,500 to Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Quinn Kellis. The company a coordinates fundraising events for schools and other nonprofit groups.
The Surprise location is the 18th in the Valley for the Salt Lake City-based Café Rio, which has opened more than 120 restaurants in 12 states across the U.S. since 1997.
The newest location is only the fourth to open in the West Valley.
The restaurant serves up Mexican-inspired fare in the traditions of the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas and New Mexico, according to the company’s website.