Nearly a year after a kitchen fire caused heavy damage to the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, they've opened up again after repairs.

Though I never did get the chance to see how things looked while the Rio was using space donated to them by ROVE/Element, I was eager to see how different things would look at their 'home' location after restorations were complete.

The Rio is one of the most beloved restaurants in all of Fort Collins, let alone the Downtown/Old Town area of town. When word got out that there had been a devastating fire, many were concerned about the fate of restaurant. Luckily, they were able to carry on, while repairs were made.

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The building that the Rio has called home since 1991 dates back to 1902; it's great that the fire department was able to save it. According to North Forty News, at a recent press luncheon, the current owner of the Rio talked about how they upcycled a lot of the damaged restaurant, while modernizing.

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After hearing that they'd be opening again at 143 West Mountain on May 19, 2022, I made a point to get in there as soon as I could. I was able to do so on May 24, with a friend of mine who actually grew up near the family that started The Rio.

There's no question that though things may have changed with the way the Rio looks, the food and those awesome margaritas are still delicious.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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The decorative sombreros immediately caught my eye walking in.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Some of the upcycling that they did includes using what used to be the bannister in the bar area as wall décor, as above.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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A very cool art horse greets you now.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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The east dining room is all newly renovated.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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More of the upcycled bannister that was in the bar area, is still in the bar area, only differently.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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The back bar is definitely brighter than before. It adds a great touch.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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My chicken burrito smothered in green chile was terrific.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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Of course, it's hard to be at the Rio and NOT have one of their famous margaritas.

Rio Grande - Fort Collins
TSM/Dave Jensen
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