It will be the first Loudoun County location for the popular Tex-Mex chain.

Big news for fans of Mexican food — the popular fast-casual Cafe Rio Mexican Grill chain is going to open a location in Ashburn. The Burn has confirmed they will be one of the tenants in the new Ashbrook Marketplace shopping center planned for the intersection of Russell Branch Parkway and Ashburn Village Boulevard.

Cafe Rio is a Utah-based chain with roughly 120 locations in 12 states. The closest locations to Loudoun currently are in Chantilly and Manassas. The Cafe Rio menu is inspired by the Rio Grande region and pulls from the cuisines of northern Mexico, southern Texas and New Mexico.

As The Burn has reported previously (see stories here and here), Ashbrook Marketplace is a new shopping center going up immediately adjacent to the existing Ashbrook Commons center (where HomeGoods and AC Moore are located). The new shopping center will be anchored by a Lidl grocery store, the second location for Lidl in Ashburn.

Image: Saul Centers

As far as a Cafe Rio timeline, no official word yet. But considering ground on the new center hasn’t been broken yet, it will certainly be 2019 at the earliest.

Images: Cafe Rio
  1. Fred 6 years ago

    Sigh. I suppose it’s too late to decry the proliferation of chain restaurants at the expense of truly unique and diverse dining? I mean, how many Mexican chain restaurants (burger/pizza/BBQ joints) do we need?

  2. J. Weiner 6 years ago

    I agree with Fred ! Too many fast food places and not enough quality food establishments.

  3. Jim A. 6 years ago

    The restaurant business is so risky, the days of people opening their own and actually succeeding are coming to a close. Too many people want fast, cheap food, even if they are crying the loudest that they want fresh ingredients and new ideas. With real estate properties as high as they are, it’s a wonder that chain restaurants can even afford space.
    We have the former Hail & Hog space sitting empty, Macaroni Grill over by the mall still sits empty and more. Who, besides an already successful chain is going to pay premium real estate prices for such a risky business?

  4. MCS 6 years ago

    Good Tex-mex is hard to find here. Most Mexican food is nerfed for all the anglos here who can’t handle spices beyond salt and pepper. Better to have this chain place than all the endless asian/Indian places everywhere by far. Living in Brambleton/Broadlands we will take vs the junk we have now. Now we just need a good seafood place that serves Cajun food vs the bland Bonefish and Ford’s and this place may liven up and loosen up a bit too.

  5. Rob Blackstone 6 years ago

    Its a chain, but at least its a new chain that’s not already in the immediate area. Way better than yet another Chipotle or Jersey Mikes location.

  6. Lainey 6 years ago

    I sigh with Fred.

  7. Natalie 6 years ago

    I’d give this place a chance. I have eaten at Cafe Rios several times in Utah where I lived for a short time and it blew me away. Incredible service at every location with freshly made food right in front of you (including tortillas from scratch). Their enchilada style burritos (covered in melted cheese with your choice or a delicious mild or spicy sauce on top) are incredible. I remember loving their salads too. I haven’t been able to eat at Chipotle or a Qdoba location since because they don’t even compare.

    HOWEVER, my husband stopped by the Chantilly Cafe Rio when we moved here and was a bit disappointed. He didn’t think the food or service was nearly good as in Utah.

    I can’t promise anything about the new Ashburn location, but if they manage to capture the magic they deliver out west (I really hope they do, because I miss eating there) I’d stop in and eat all the time.

  8. Luis a Rivera 4 years ago

    they already have one location in Herndon

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