Word of Mouth

Downtown Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant will soon unveil Black Crow

The chain of Rio Grande Mexican restaurants has been hard at work re-tooling the kitchens across the company, and, as I wrote in my review a few weeks ago, the downtown restaurant, at least, has been successful, even if it still has some work to do.

That LoDo location is about to unveil another change, though: next week, it's side patio will open as Black Crow, a separate entity with a separate menu -- that also serves the Rio margaritas.

"Black Crow is an urban outdoor campground that is going to be a separate entity as far as what we serve," explains Christine Sullo, a manager who does public relations for the restaurant. "It's an extension of the Rio, but it's not the Rio."

That's because the patio has been tricked out with a trailer that will allow Black Crow to serve a separate menu, which Sullo says is "based on the street tacos, tortas and food carts that you see in Mexico." Patrons, she explains, will order at that trailer and then have the food delivered to a table along with a beer from the draft beer list or a margarita, if they're drinking.

But Black Crow will also offer an incentive that extends beyond food and drinks. "We'll have movies playing out there, and we'll do live music," Sullo says, adding that the plan is to create a comfortable, casual atmosphere with a funky vibe.

Black Crow will also have a separate entrance; the eatery is calling the gate into the deck "1525 1/2 Blake Street."

Sullo says the crew is putting the finishing touches on the menu and the space, which will open on Monday, April 2. After that, the Rio is hoping to keep Black Crow open through October, but the exact closing date will be determined by weather.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk

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