Fast casual Mexican chain shutters Short Pump spot

Café Rio in The Corner at Short Pump shopping center closed this month. (Michael Schwartz)

Café Rio in The Corner at Short Pump shopping center closed this month. (Michael Schwartz)

Roughly 18 months after it opened its doors locally, a national fast casual restaurant chain has closed its lone Richmond location.

Café Rio, at 11825 W. Broad St. in The Corner at Short Pump shopping center, shut its doors earlier this month, confirmed Alicia Farrell, a broker with Richmond-based Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. She oversees the center’s leasing with fellow brokers Nicki Jassy and Connie Jordan Nielsen.

The restaurant, which opened in September 2015, has until Feb. 20 to vacate the space, Farrell said.

Workers were seen moving Café Rio-branded material and equipment from the 3,000-square-foot space Tuesday afternoon. Exterior signs with the chain’s brand also were removed.

Café Rio could not be reached Tuesday afternoon for comment about the closing, or whether it plans to reopen in another part of town. The Salt Lake City-based chain originally planned to open up to three locations across the metro area, including possible spots near Willow Lawn and Midlothian.

Founded in 1997, Café Rio serves fast casual taco, burrito and salad dishes. The company competes with Chipotle and Qdoba – national chains with a large local presence.

With Café Rio out, Farrell said her team is looking to fill the soon-to-be vacant space.

“We have a lot of interest in the space,” Farrell said. “It remains available.”

Café Rio’s departure comes just months after Metro Diner moved into the adjacent Short Pump Crossing Shopping Center. Across West Broad Street, World of Beer is set to move into the building that previously housed a TGI Friday’s restaurant that closed last month.

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steven cohen

Sorry for the franchise owner/corporate owner, but folks come on…Short Pump has become over saturated with chain restaurants trying to launch there brands in this highly competitive market. You will see more departures as some local favorites take-on national chains.

Ed Christina


Perhaps a commercial realtor can chime in, but aren’t people who are NOT part of chains at a big disadvantage, because chains are considered more secure? As far as leasing space at a place like Short Pump, i meant.