After 25 years of pouring powerful margaritas, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant re-examines its brand

The margaritas at the Rio, a chain that got its start in Fort Collins back in 1985, are enough to pull in a crowd -- so who cares about the food?
The margaritas at the Rio, a chain that got its start in Fort Collins back in 1985, are enough to pull in a crowd -- so who cares about the food?
Mark Manger

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Wrong. At least, wrong if you're an owner of Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, a Colorado chain that has grown to include six locations since the first one opened in the mid-80s. Over the years, the restaurants have all gained reputations as go-to gathering spots, where a party-oriented crowd would converge for strong drinks and everything that goes with strong drinks. Food was secondary, and what came out of the kitchen reflected that lack of focus.

But last year, the Rio decided to reinvent itself. Specifically, it decided to get more serious about the food, and so began tinkering around in the kitchen, attempting to up the quality of the menu.

For this week's review, I stopped by the Denver location to see what -- if anything -- had really changed.

How was the food? Find out tomorrow, when the review is posted here.

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