Rio Grande Mexican Cuisine

When Pepe Silva was ready to build his flagship restaurant for his successful chain, Rio Grande, he turned to ATI for design solutions. The Rio Grande name prides itself with authentic Mexican cuisine and impeccable customer service. With restaurants in the Piedmont Triad, NC and into southern VA, this expansion project needed to bring the taste and feel of all the original Rio Grande, with a design flair reminiscent of southern California taco shops.

The Design Challenge:

The design team for Rio Grande wanted to bring authentic Mexican style to their new location. Pepe Silva came to ATI with a few ceramic tiles that he had bought on a trip to Mexico as inspiration. They planned to use the tile motif on the wall behind the bar and needed to create a wall panel that was easy to clean, abrasion resistant and beautiful. Although Pepe chose a ceramic tile, it created several challenges related to transportation and breakage, as well as its cleanability, specifically in the grout lines. They also needed decorative divider panels to add more style to their booth seating area. In addition, Pepe asked for a mural that would showcase a map of Mexico, highlighting where Pepe and his family are from. All of these challenges needed to incorporate the history and style of the Rio Grande flagship location.

Our Solution:

Pepe and his design team turned to ATI for solutions. To start, ATI scanned a set of the original blue and white tiles from Mexico and produced a unique wall panel that duplicated the look of a tiled wall and added the chosen grout color and grout line thickness. Gloss FRP was used to further mimic the look of a glazed ceramic tile. This substrate was not just placed behind the bar, but it also made its way into different high-traffic spaces throughout the restaurant.

From that blue and white tile, our design team at ATI duplicated the pattern on a clear, acrylic substrate that provided privacy between the dining room and the bustling noise of the kitchen. These pieces had the same pattern as the original tile, but are frosted with the design.

Additionally, our team was able to create a mural for the front walkway of the restaurant. The mural is a HIPS substrate of a map of Jalisco, Mexico, focusing on the town where Pepe and his family come from. This giant map is not only a beautiful piece of art for the newest Rio Grande restaurant, but it is also scratch, stain and puncture resistant. The mural can be cleaned with some of the harshest cleaning solutions without losing its beauty. For such a high-traffic area, it is the perfect accent piece.

  • YEAR 2020
  • WE DID Fusion Custom Wall Panels, Fusion custom mural, Fusion acrylic divider, Deco-Defender