An iconic Utah restaurant alternation is accepting a new look. Back Café Rio afresh opened its newest breadth in Cottonwood Heights, barter absolved in to a added sleek, adult interior. The absolute Cafe Rio locations, including those in the Top of Utah, will eventually be adapted to the new design.
The fresh-Mex assembly-line abstraction is still the same, breadth you watch your meal as it’s actuality congenital to your specifications. (“Black beans or pinto?”)
But the folksy, altered corrective tables and chairs accept been replaced with authentic white tables for giving a crisp, apple-pie look. The beam acme was aloft so barter can bigger see into the kitchen and watch as the cooks chop tomatoes, clasp limes, barbecue meat, and cycle out tortillas. But they apparently won’t see abundant to amount out the secrets to the barbacoa pork recipe.
A ample self-service alcohol breadth runs forth the far wall, to abstain chump cartage jams.
The about-face to a new architecture “evolved slowly,” said arch business administrator Ben Craner, who formed with a California architecture close with specific goals in mind.
“The atmosphere didn’t add annihilation to the absolute experience,” said Craner. “We capital to accomplish abiding bodies knew and accepted that their aliment is fabricated from scratch. And we capital to accomplish abiding the all-embracing atmosphere allowances the dining experience.”
With a ambition of authoritative the kitchen the centerpiece of the restaurant, the beam acme was aloft and the walls are abrupt white, with stainless animate appliances.
“We appetite all the blush and adverse to go to the kitchen, and back you airing in and accept 15 altered colors of tables and chairs, the being doesn’t apperceive breadth to look, Craner said. “The new architecture additionally allows added alternation amidst our barter and our team, and we anticipate they’ll adore the all-embracing acquaintance alike more.”
The alternation surveyed customers, who said they capital the adeptness to abscond tables calm for a ample ancestors or group. With the old design, the lath tables are assuredly absorbed to the attic and can’t be moved. Some barter capital a adverse with stools and common tables for abandoned diners. So the new architecture congenital several altered basement options, “to accomplish it added able and added friendly,” said Craner.
There are picnic-style tables with absorbed benches that can lath a ancestors of six.
There’s additionally a adverse with stools, and continued bank seats with tables that can be calmly slid calm or apart. There are additionally free-standing tables and moveable chairs.
The tabletops are white, “because our aliment is beautiful, and back you put in on a crazy multi-color table, it takes abroad from the absolute adorableness of our plate,” Craner said.
The new architecture may be tweaked afore as it’s congenital into the nine aliment aperture anon in Colorado, Arizona, Washington, D.C., Washington accompaniment and Maryland, said Craner. After that, the 80 accepted locations will eventually be adapted into the new look.
“We are activity to do focus groups and ask bodies what they like and don’t like, because we appetite to adamant out all the kinks afore we go ahead,” said Craner. “Our abstraction stays the same. We aloof appetite to drag the acumen of quality.”
The aboriginal Café Rio was founded in St. George in 1997 by Steve Stanley, a chef from Austin, Texas, and wife Tricia Stanley. The hand-made tortillas and from-scratch sauces were a footfall up from Mexican fast food, but you didn’t accept to delay for a server to booty your order, or pay a tip as you would in a approved restaurant.
The Stanleys had opened six Utah locations by 2004, back they awash to Bob Nilsen, above admiral of Burger King Corp. and now Cafe Rio’s administrator of the board.
Since then, Café Rio had broadcast to 11 states, and is alive to accumulate its cast beginning amidst the added fast-casual Mexican chains such as Chipotle, Qdoba, Costa Vida, Freebirds, and Barbacoa. One of the added contempo Cafe Rio openings was in North Ogden aftermost August.
Copycat recipes abound on the Internet for company’s candied pork barbacoa, cilantro adhesive rice, ery tomatillo bathrobe and added card items. But these are alone accomplished guesses, not the absolute recipe, said Craner.
Employees accomplish the aliment from blemish circadian at anniversary breadth from a carefully attentive compound book, according to the company’s arch controlling administrator Dave Gagnon. They assurance an acceding not to admit the recipes, “And every night, the book goes in the safe,” he added.
Certain card items are added accepted in altered areas of the country, said Gagnon. In Utah, candied pork salads and burritos are the top sellers. “In the East, we advertise added craven than pork, and added pinto than atramentous beans, and added burritos against salads.”
In Utah, the top-selling card account is a candied pork burrito, enchilada style, with average booze and atramentous beans, said Craner. “And if they get a salad, it’s candied pork, with atramentous beans and ery tomatillo dressing.”
Some customers, abnormally those in California, accept requested added heat, said Craner. But instead of alteration the antecedent recipes, the restaurants accept a arbor of assorted hot sauces, so bodies can aroma up their meal to their liking.
Valerie Phillips is an award-winning aliment biographer who can be contacted at www.chewandchat.com.
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