34 Years of Rio!



Pat McGaughran, Founder & Owner

Summer of 1986. The Challenger Space Shuttle disaster had rocked our nation earlier in the year. The Chernobyl Nuclear disaster left us wondering if we’d survive. Many of us were rocking mullets and mustaches. We were listening to Hungry Like a Wolf by Duran Duran. Yes, frightening and uncertain times.   And yet we opened a joint for friends, family and our community to gather and celebrate life together. Our wish was to create a great work environment and provide joyful familiarity and comfort for those who became our Rio community. Growing up and out to our favorite Colorado communities, we seemed to fit a need for such a place.

Some years later we wanted to capture this vibe in a mission statement. We came up with this: “We provide sanctuary from the problems of the world while serving the best DANG margaritas and Mexican food this side of the Rio Grande.”

While it was whimsical to imagine “sanctuary” on a Rio Friday night, it found purchase in the experience that was created. Our Rio family became close and leaned on each other in good times and hard times.  Birthdays and wakes. Comfort for the loss of a friend, or end of something only to inspire new friendships and lovely new thrills. There are many Rio stories….

2020.  I really hope this one “takes the cake” in times uncertain and frightening. I am so humbled and in awe of our brave teams and amazing community for the support we have received for Rio and our crew. “We provide sanctuary“ has never been so poignant as now. Funny thing is, our communities have turned about and provided sanctuary for us as well!

Yes, we have problems in the world. Let’s be good to ourselves and each other. I hang on the hope that we grow up and get better through all of this. Can’t see it any other way.

To our community, our beloved Rio crew past and present, Rio lovers everywhere, thanks for keeping the torch lit through the darkness of this time.

“We provide sanctuary” for each other! Get some tacos, let the margs flow and tip the magic elixir; Tequila! As we celebrate now, and for years to come.

Viva Rio!!
Love, Pat

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