A Fort Worth Tex-Mex chain is headed east: Rio Mambo will open a branch in Addison, at 4021 Belt Line Rd., in the same complex as Lefty's, a block west of Midway Road.
Founder Brent Johnson worked for six years with M Group, owner of Mi Cocina, before launching his own concept in 2001. It currently has five branches, including the original in Fort Worth. There are locations in Colleyville and Weatherford, and two in Arlington, including one that just opened on Lamar Road right by Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.
The menu is mostly Tex-Mex, with fajitas, brisket tacos and margaritas, as well as a few Mexican dishes, including fresh seafood. It's known for its thin chips and cilantro-flavored salsa. It does a popular Sunday brunch with huevos rancheros, migas and tres leches cake.
Johnson also dedicates attention to atmosphere; his restaurants have good lighting, art and music.
Known as Belt Line Square, the center where Rio Mambo will open has recently been updated, says Cory McCord of Retail Plazas, which owns the property.
"We just completed an entire renovation of the shopping center," says McCord, who sought out Rio Mambo as a tenant.
"We wanted a Mexican restaurant, and we picked Rio Mambo because we've known them for many years," he says. "We have Rio Mambo branches in two of our other shopping centers and know it's good."