New Single-Tenant Café Rio Restaurant Sells for $3.2 Million

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Blau Journal

Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a nationally recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, has arranged the sale of a brand-new single-tenant Café Rio restaurant, a high-growth, fast-casual Mexican restaurant based in Salt Lake City with over 100 locations. The building, a renovated Carl’s Jr. property with a drive-thru, is located in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House District. The sale price was $3.2 million.

Hanley Investment Group Executive Vice President Jeremy McChesney and Associate Dylan Mallory represented both the buyer and seller in the off-market transaction. The buyer was a private investor from the San Francisco Bay Area and the seller was a private investor based in Salt Lake City.

The 2,513-square-foot single-tenant building is located on 0.79 acres at 1235 E. 2100 South in Salt Lake City, adjacent to Chick-fil-A. Café Rio signed a new, long-term, absolute triple-net, corporate ground lease and opened in mid-September 2018.

“Cafe Rio is an extremely popular restaurant and has a very strong following in the Salt Lake area,” said McChesney. “This particular site is one of the few locations with a drive-thru. The restaurant’s mantra is ‘fresh food, made fresh.’ No freezers. No microwaves. Nothing is premade. The food is delicious.” 

According to McChesney, “This transaction is another example of California buyers going out-of-state to achieve a better yield on their investment. Single-tenant net-leased retail investments in major metros around the country continue to be in high demand.”

“Sugar House is a historic and well-known neighborhood in Salt Lake City and is a retail and entertainment hub for the area,” said Mallory. “Located 3.5 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, there are two major shopping centers in the Sugar House District, generating strong retail synergy with multiple national tenants including: Chick-fil-A, Whole Foods, CVS/pharmacy, Nordstrom Rack, Bed Bath and Beyond, Petco and others. In addition to the strong retail presence, there are over 310,000 people with an average household income in excess of $78,000 in a five-mile radius of the property.”

Mallory added, “Although Café Rio is not as well-known as some of the major national QSR’s concepts, this sale represents an aggressive price due to the irreplaceable real estate fundamentals of the property.”

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cafe Rio specializes in serving the highest quality, made-from-scratch meals, using only the freshest ingredients. Its authentic dishes are inspired by recipes and traditional cooking found in Northern Mexico’s Rio Grande region, Southern Texas and New Mexico. The company offers its customers a wide variety of menu items, including burritos, tortillas, salads and tacos that are customized by using various proteins and sauces. Cafe Rio operates over 100 restaurants in eleven states, primarily across the western United States.