Cafe Rio closes: Longtime Rio del Mar...

Cafe Rio closes: Longtime Rio del Mar seafood restaurant owner ...

There are 178 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Mar 1, 2010, titled Cafe Rio closes: Longtime Rio del Mar seafood restaurant owner .... In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

A landmark Aptos restaurant served its last order of sand dabs on Sunday. Cafe Rio, a seafood dining spot steps from Rio del Mar Beach that opened three decades ago, closed its doors for good after dinner Sunday in the face of a weak economy that's put a damper on people eating out, owner Jeff Briggs said Sunday afternoon.

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Mando Morlos

United States

#22 Mar 1, 2010
I went there yesturday and the roads were in fact horrid....At the time I didn't know the resturaunt was going out of bussiness but it sure made me question going there right until it is all finished.

I certrainly feel for the people who tried to make it work , that was a tough situation.

Lets see what replaces it. If anything.....
(A really good pizzaria would be my vote :)

I dont' know anyone who would want to lease that place with the roads in the current condition.

Nothing anyone can do about that.
ate there once last year

Santa Cruz, CA

#23 Mar 1, 2010
hum. it's "palate". not palet. bad sign.
Good Riddance wrote:
Cafe Rio Inc. Announces
Press Subheading
Aptos, CA - Feb 28, 2010 - THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS! We are happy to say that we are leaving! We have fought a great battle against "You Know Who"(pd) "He Who Shall Not Be Named". We were honest and tried to bring a beautiful cuisine to the area, but we were beaten down AND CHEATED in many ways. Jeff is an amazing Chef and only wanted to please the Palets of Cafe Rio customers. We were presented with so many trials that prevented us from reaching our potential...from the economy to to our immense health issues to(breast cancer and ruptured appendix 2008), and the economy and of course our ever wonderful landlord (who raised our rent during the sewer construction project done during Nov 2009-Jan 2010.). The last straw was the Public Works Project done by Santa Cruz County, which we could not overcome and was, supported by Eline Pierre and John Presleigh (my brother). This project essentially in conjunction with Pat Dugan, put us out of business. We tried for the sake of our employees to stay in business (selling everything we had). Our employees are the only reason we stayed around for so long! Bless them!
We wish all of those who supported us the Blessings of GOD , who we believe in. We love our country God and are not politically correct. We HUNT, CARRY GUNS AND BELIEVE IN THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT!!!!!!!!!!
Love from the BRIGGS FAMILY!!!

Santa Cruz, CA

#24 Mar 1, 2010
most important one wrote:
It's never the county's fault, is it Ellen?
You should take a look at the Yelp posting that was cited in another review. Looks like they were headed for trouble long before the road project started. When people who have eaten there over the years start to give you bad reviews, and consistently so, you are done.
quality matters

Santa Cruz, CA

#25 Mar 1, 2010
Rio used to be my wife's and my favorite place for anniversaries and entertaining out of towners. Once the new owner took over, food quality went down, prices went up, and the service was spotty. We switched to Bittersweet. Rio put themselves out of business. Same thing happened to India Joze too.
Gordon Flash

United States

#26 Mar 1, 2010
John wrote: io-aptos
The proof is in the pudding. The owner blames construction. Whatever. Take some responsibility. They treated employees like dirt, and if you were promoted to manager, they made your life a living hell... hence the waiters dreaded a "promotion." The couple that ran the place yelled at each other and were plastic and rude. Cafe Rio was a cool place. I remember romantic evenings and memorable family events back in the early 2000s. Something better will come up, fo' sho'!!!!
Local of over 30 years

Burlingame, CA

#27 Mar 1, 2010
I attended the opening of Cafe Rio when Pat opened it, had over 100 dinners there, had fun at the 30th party, and was sad when Pat retired. Restaurants do well today because of great customers service, price value, and good, consistant food. The new owners never had any one of these three ingrediants. There is much too much competition in the food and beverage business to put up with bad service and inconsistant food. Jeff was a very good chef but failed to understand how to run a local restaurant. Hopefully, Pat will find a new operator that will bring Cafe Rio back to life with great customer service, good food at a fair price, and a local flair. It would also be great if the new operator/owner had deep pockets and the blessing of the Coastal Comish to build up and have a bar like the Crow's Nest. Welcome Back Pat. I know you can do it again. Remember 64 is the new 44!
Matt Kay

Redwood City, CA

#28 Mar 1, 2010
Gimme a break wrote:
When Pat owned it up until five years ago it was a wonderful place that I frequented regularly over the years. Always looked forward to taking friends and family there. When Pat sold it to the current owner things went South. And fast. Prices went up, service got cut, food quality went down. I used to go there ten times a year. Since it was taken over by the current owner I've been there twice in the last four years then said never again. So Mr. Sewer work finger pointer... the sewer work isn't what drove the business away, you (the owner) did. Too bad, Cafe Rio was a real treasure in our neighborhood. Maybe the next team will turn it back around. Pat? C'mon back. Or maybe Mimi will take a swing at it. Call it Rio Bleu.
Agreed. This place was very good in the Pat days. Used to really look forward to eating there for New Years and other get togethers. Nice ambiance, nice wait staff, good food, good drinks. The last two times were horrible and this is why the place failed.

Watsonville, CA

#29 Mar 1, 2010
I've lived in Aptos my entire life and always liked Cafe Rio. Went there once after the new owners took and haven't been back. They really messed up a pretty good menu, raised the prices and we waited almost an hour for food with no attention from our waiter
Just a Thought

Hopland, CA

#30 Mar 1, 2010
Cafe Rio closed because of bad food, poor service and a loud noisy atmosphere. The location is surrounded by a densely packed neighborhood of residences from which people can walk to the restaurant and not worry about parking, but they didn't.
rio fairy

Daly City, CA

#31 Mar 1, 2010
I live around the corner from cafe Rio .. First, the sewer project has made a HUGE MESS of this area and defnitely would affect traffic. Who wants to go out to eat in a construction zone. You can't even drive your car with all the dust and stop sign carriers, and the huge flowing sewer machine on the corner. I'm certain the sewer project did interfere with business.

Yet, as someone who is local to the area right now, in three years we've only eaten at Cafe Rio three times. The first time we spent $80 on a meal where our waiter ignored us, we had to had to ask for bread and water and felt like it was a waste of money.
The second time we are there, our breakfast (french toast) was cold when it came out and the food was not what was expected to the point my brother actually made a big scene by sending it back to the kitchen.
The last time, we tried to eat there with a dinner coupon which advertised two for one. We are there, got great customer service and had a nice dinner together. However, three hours later and upset stomachs affecting both of us we decided to stop going.

We eat at the pixie Deli (across the street from Cafe rio) probably 4 times a month, if not more, I've lost count.

The prices combined with the customer service, unfortunately contributed to us not visiting this restaurant frequently. To pay over a $100 or more for dinner, you expect to be waited on promptly, brought water, bread and checked on by the waitstaff. A number of factors have contributed to the this situation. It's too bad though... We were going to give Cafe rio one more chance.
W-T-F Homes

Santa Cruz, CA

#32 Mar 1, 2010
besides the bad service, the food sucked. besides that, great place to eat.
The real reason

Nipomo, CA

#33 Mar 1, 2010
Um...had the food and service been great, locals would have STILL come to the Rio, despite the parking lot issues. The truth is the place had inflated prices for mediocre food and nasty service for way too long. Good riddance.
Ex Liberal

Seattle, WA

#34 Mar 1, 2010
But?...But?...But?...., Obama and the Washington talking-heads just declared last week the economy was growing, improving and the worst was over! It's good times again! Thank you Obama! Life is good! OH, where's the closest unemployment office? I heard they were extending unemployment benefits (taxpayer money) yet again!





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San Jose, CA

#35 Mar 1, 2010
To bad for the folks at Cafe Rio I have some great times there over the years even though the last few years the food and service were medicore at best much like every other Santa Cruz restaurant!

As far as the construction work, what a cluster f**k that is to say the least. What they basiclly did was dig a big hole and buried Cafe Rio in it. Letting them take over the parking lot to park thier equiment was nuts. Talk about a eye sore. Pirie could care less about small business in this town. Time for her to go too.

Santa Cruz, CA

#36 Mar 1, 2010
Heard all kinds of good things about this place... went by one day and couldn't believe the prices!!! Had a gift certificate so finally had dinner there. Boy what a disappointment!!! The view is of the parking lot and the water way off in the distance. The service was little to be desired and I honestly do not remember the food. I do remember the calamari and it was the 2nd worst I've ever had! Cookie cutout and horrible sauce! I'd be upset if I got another gift card because I wouldn't want to go back. Restaurants close for a reason and it's not because the road is torn up! get a clue and go back to culinary school!
Aptos Beach

Oakley, CA

#37 Mar 1, 2010
Cafe Rio has been bad for years....I stopped going there well before the construction....New Marketing Manager was smarmy and flirted a little to much with the MARRIED ladies he served too...
Bad, bad food...used to be good ages ago...
They should NOT complain about the construction being the catalyst to their closure...Pixie is packed and DELICIOUS! The salmon sandwich is the best I've had....
Also, there was a bit of a seedy feeling to the "new" Cafe Rio....I hope a great, new restaurant comes in...also hope they build UP so we can enjoy an ocean has a view of the parking lot....think bigger people, and we will come support you.
Old schooler

Locust Grove, VA

#38 Mar 1, 2010
I am sad...30 years ago in Sept. I took my date out on our first date to the Cafe Rio. My wife had oysters rockafeller for the first time and we had a wonderful meal and a great waiter, and talked for hours. Married that girl. We celebrate our 30th this year and were sad to see we can't go to the Cafe Rio for dinner and nostalgia.

United States

#39 Mar 1, 2010
never ate there, looks like I didn't miss much

United States

#40 Mar 1, 2010
Worst food, worst service - surprised they lasted as long as they did. The economy can be blamed for a lot of things but not this!

United States

#41 Mar 1, 2010
Cafe Rio went out of business because the food was average and service was spotty. You can only capitalize on a beachfront location for so long. Unfortunately Cafe Rio just couldn't deliver on value.

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