I've been going to Rio Rita regularly for over two years now. I don't know why it has taken me so damn long to review this place.
I was newly single, and therefore socially frightened, in November 2009, so I decided to scour the internet for new hobbies and activities and adventures to be had. I found a listing for "Love and a 45" record-player party at Rio Rita. It sounded like the perfect scene for a vinyl junkie like me, so I ventured down there one Monday night and met regular "Love and a 45" DJs Shanti, Ollie, and host David. They were all sweet as pie and made me feel very welcome, so I've come back almost every Monday night since and have had a blast each and every time. Eventually I met Randall, Rio Rita's owner. Sweet guy; savvy business owner; snappy dresser.
Here are the things I like about Rio Rita:
-- They serve THE best bloody marys in town. Yes, peeps, the rumors are true! I've seen people complain that they take a while to make, but it really doesn't seem that long to me. Rio Rita has a fairly tight formula for making their blood marys, though I have to say that bartender/manager Aaron Reed makes them the bestest.
-- The bartenders are all very cool and good at what they do. Challenge them, you must! (Yoda can occasionally be seen here.)
-- The decor is old-school and fairly comfy. I like that each little area in the back room is sectioned off.
-- That record-player party is simply top drawer! Thank you, David, for inventing it!
-- Rio Rita always features some interesting original art on the walls.
-- They have ample parking (the lot is in the back).
-- They sell empanadas from Mmmmpanadas, pizza from East Side Pies, and various sammiches. The Thanksgiving-ish turkey/cranberry sammich is killer.
The things I dislike about Rio Rita are few, but they do exist:
-- The beer selection is poor, methinks. I always either get a Lone Star or a Guinness, but I would love to have some other, better, things from which to choose. Not that Lone Star and Guinness stink, mind you, but when I'm not in the mood for either of those the other beers leave a lot to be desired.
-- The lighting is sometimes too dim. I occasionally bring my crocheting with me, but the dim lighting makes it difficult for me to work. Shanti somehow doesn't need much light to crochet. Girrrrl, you my hero!
-- The hipster crowd Rio Rita attracts is nauseating. I can get along with hipsters, but I'd prefer not to.
As long as the record-player party and kick-ass bloody marys keep happening, I'll keep coming.