Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Brings Closure of Two Eateries

While Cinco de Mayo may be a time for many to celebrate, some will do so for the last time at Rio Grande Cantina in Buckhead. Sources tell me the 19 year old eatery will close for good this week. While details of the closure are not known with certainty at this point, the last day of business may very well be today. Additionally, Panchero's Mexican Grill, a franchised concept from Iowa closed its lone Atlanta location this past Friday. After opening last February, the restaurant struggled to compete with local chains such as Willy's Mexicana Grill and Moe's Southwest Grill, both with locations about a mile away. The opening of Baja Fresh on Park Avenue West beside the Georgia Aquarium this past February can't have helped things. Panchero's location at 400 W. Peachtree provided little foot traffic, and the restaurant witnessed Au Bon Pain evicted and closed across the street. The nearby W Downtown hotel had problems of its own and was facing the possibility of foreclosure until recently. The local franchisees brought the chain to Atlanta with this location but clearly plans for additional locations will likely never come to fruition. ToNeTo Atlanta


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7 comments:

Atlantan99 said...

New information received today is that the business has been operating w/o a liquor license for some time and was busted about two weeks ago. The current owner of Rio-Grande inherited the business from his father after passing near 18 months ago. Since taking it over he has run the popular Buckhead eatery / bar poorly and has lost many longtime patrons and employees. Recent reviews on Yelp are less than favorable. I'd be shocked to see them give up now, but word is that the space will close today. Insiders anticipate them attempting to open again if / when they obtain a new liquor license. I'm no restaurateur but you'd have to be crazy to simply give up, especially as we enter the summer months, when this place gets wildly busy.

Mike H said...

You do know about Yelp being a scam right? Ask any business owner about it (including myself). All it means is that they didn't have the money to pay for advertising at Yelp so they take away the positive reviews and add a few negative ones. Google "Yelp" and "scam" to see what I'm talking about.

*Not saying that Rio Grande serves great food (haven't been there in years).

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the comment. I'm not a business owner nor do I vouch for the validity of Yelp but some of it has to be accurate. I agree their advertising tactics are questionable but friends of mine, who do know what they are talking about, have on occasion left negative, warranted reviews for various eateries. These reviews were posted and remain posted. I will say the order of reviews per establishment on the Yelp site is strange, at times giving higher rank to frequent users, other times, elevating negative reviews from newbie users.

Anonymous said...

19 years? More like 10.

Atlantan99 said...

According to multiple sources. Metromix among them, http://atlanta.metromix.com/restaurants/photogallery/rio-grandes-19th-anniversary/1590964/content ... the restaurant was in business for 19 years though I believe under numerous owners and at least one extensive remodel.

Anonymous said...

rio grande opened in 2001. it was originally percys fish house. and you call yourself an atlantan.

Anonymous said...

Rio Grande opened at its current location 10years ago. Before then, It was located down peachtree rd. With that said, It has been open for 19 years. And yes, It was shut down because the owners have been operating without a liquor license for some time now, this is thrown on top of a number of other violations against employees and sate codes (I am a former employee of Rio, I know this company well, and have had many issues with them.) In the end they got what they deserved!