Opening date revealed for Sunderland branch of eat-all-you-can Rio steakhouse

The opening date has been revealed for Sunderland’s new eat-all-you-can Rio Steakhouse.

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:47 pm

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the hugely-popular North East-based hospitality chain, which also owns Tomahawk Steakhouse, would be bringing a Rio to the city centre.

Now, it’s been revealed that it’s expected to open in Autumn 2022, at 2 Lambton Street, which is the old Frankie & Benny’s unit, at Sunniside Leisure Complex, a site which has been empty since 2019.

The authentic Brazilian steakhouse uses a traffic light system of red and green coasters where, if your coaster is on green, specially-trained gaucho chefs keep bringing you churrasco meat to carve at your table or, if you’re full, you can turn the coaster to red – a concept which has made it one of the top-rated restaurants at its original site in Jesmond, Newcastle.

Rio Steakhouse is heading to Sunderland

Rio has a set menu of unlimited steak, where the lunch time menu is £22.95, the evening menu is £33.95 and the vegetarian, vegan and fish menu is £16.95 - with the Sunderland site set to follow suit.

Speaking to the Echo about the announcement of their first Sunderland site earlier this year, a spokeswoman said: "We’ve been wanting to get into Sunderland for a while and there’s a lot of investment and new openings happening in the city, so this is perfect timing for us.

“We’ve looked at a few units, but the one we’ve chosen is perfect. We’re really excited to be a part of all the development and to help make it a destination, a place where people want to come and eat out.”

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Gaucho chefs carve the meat at your table

The company’s Tomahawk brand has also proved popular in recent years, with branches at the Boat House in Durham, Newcastle Quayside, Yorkshire, Ponteland and London among the locations.

Rio, meanwhile, is also expanding with a new site opening in Walkergate, Durham, on Friday, July 29.

The new Rio in Sunderland is set to create a number of new jobs and will be the only dedicated steakhouse in the city centre so far.

It is one in a number of new hospitality sites heading Wearside’s way, with work on the new German Doner Kebab, in High Street West, approaching completion.

The address for the new Rio is listed as the former Frankie & Benny's unit in Sunniside

Meanwhile, an announcement is due on the four bars and restaurants which will be opening in the four units on the ground floor of the new Holiday Inn in Keel Square.

New arrivals which has already opened their doors include the new My Delhi restaurant, which has transformed the large two-storey unit in Borough Road.

Rio has proved hugely popular with its unlimited steak offering
A salad bar at an existing Rio