Cafe Rio is open for business

California, MD- The popular Mexican restaurant, Café Rio, opened its doors to customers on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Café Rio is one of the first tenants at the new St. Mary’s Marketplace in California. Customers were anxious for the new restaurant to open and waited in line ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony to be one of the first to get a taste.

Laura Toro, of Great Mills, was first in line, arriving an hour before the ribbon cutting ceremony. “I grew up in Utah and I loved them. When I found out they were opening one here, I had to be the first in line.”

Café Rio is a Salt Lake City-based company that has expanded across the country over the past 20 years with more than 115 restaurants. The California location is the fifth location in Maryland.

What makes Café Rio stand out from the rest?

“Without question, it’s how fresh our meals are. When we say ‘made from scratch’ we truly mean it,” explained Jennifer Burns, marketing and community representative. “We scoop out every avocado, chop the tomatoes and onions, squeeze over a 1,000 limes a day, we roll out the tortillas right in front of our customers, and some of our sauces take six hours to make.”

Toro said that’s what keeps her coming back for more. “The quality is great and the flavors are perfect—you can never go wrong with anything you order.”

During the ribbon cutting presentation, Café Rio made a donation of $2,500 to St. Mary’s County Public Schools. “Café Rio is about supporting the community,” Burns said.

In addition to the promise of quality food, Café Rio also offers a military discount every night of the week. From Tuesday through Sunday, active duty military receive a 25-percent discount. On Military Mondays, they receive 50-percent off their order.

The opening of the new restaurant also provided more than 50 new jobs to people in St. Mary’s County.

In addition to the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, Café Rio held its ceremonial cutting of the first burrito (video here). The first 300 customers who visited the restaurant during the grand opening, they were treated to a free meal and drink.

Burns said it you haven’t been here before, you need to try it. “It’s a made to order meal and you get exactly what you want. Come out and enjoy some really fresh Mexican food.”

St. Mary’s Marketplace is located at the intersection of Three Notch Road and St. Andrew’s Church Road.

Contact Joy Shrum at

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