The owner of Rio Grande has sold the Mexican restaurant’s former building in LoDo this month after 20 years.
Pat McGaughran, who opened Rio Grande’s first location in Fort Collins in 1986, and his business partner Michael Bynum sold the restaurant’s previous location at 1525 Blake St. for $6.3 million on July 19, according to property records.
Francois Safieddine, the restaurateur behind ViewHouse and My Neighbor Felix, was the buyer, according to property records.
Rio Grande moved out of the 11,000-square-foot space this summer after 23 years. The restaurant relocated to an 8,400-square-foot unit at 1745 Wazee St., formerly home to Morton’s The Steakhouse. McGaughran purchased that real estate for $3.8 million in August of last year, records show.
McGaughran told BusinessDen in March that he wanted to downsize the restaurant.
“Francois came with an aggressive offer as far as timing, price point and earnest money,” said listing agent Tyler Bray with Cushman & Wakefield. “It made it more enticing for ownership to move forward with Francois because we knew he would utilize the space for his own business and because of his track record with his sites throughout Colorado.”
Safieddine told BusinessDen in a statement that his restaurant group, Lotus Concepts, has “exciting plans for the building.”
“I can share that this property will be home to a brand new upscale restaurant concept, unique from both the ViewHouse and My Neighbor Felix brands,” Safieddine wrote. “That said, this is not the only new concept for Lotus Concepts, as Wonderyard is set to open later this year.”
Wonderyard is slated for 2200 Larimer St. in the Ballpark neighborhood. Safieddine purchased the 16,165-square-foot building for $8 million in 2018, according to property records.
In addition to the Rio Grande, Safieddine owns two buildings in the 1900 block of Blake Street. In January last year, he paid $5.2 million for the 1930-1932 Blake St. building, home to Sports Column and The Refinery. And in August, he paid $1.4 million for the building at 1938 Blake St., home to sports bar Swanky’s Vittles and Libations.
Safieddine also acquired his first Cherry Creek property this year, paying $14 million for a 29,212-square-foot building at 250 Steele St. in March.