Monday, February 10, 2014

Alero on 14th becomes El Tio Tex-Mex Grill

Well, this is interesting. Alero, the Tex-Mex place at 3345 14th Street NW, has changed to El Tio Tex-Mex, a chain based in Virginia. A reader sent me this photo the other day, though it's kind of strange -- why would a place change from one Tex-Mex chain to another?

Alero's website no longer mentions the Columbia Heights location, though El Tio's website doesn't mention it either -- they have locations in Falls Church, Gainesville and McLean, all of which get 4 stars on Yelp. Alero only got three stars, so maybe this is a step up for Tex-Mex fans.

I can't say I ever went to this Alero, but it was automatically a step up from Rumbero's, which was in the spot before Alero came. That place had terrible service and crummy food (in my opinion.) Alero had a bit more of a bar-lounge vibe from what I could tell walking by.

Have you been to either El Tio or Alero? Is this a good thing?


  1. My understanding from talking to folks who work there, that it is essentially a rebranding to a more family friendly environment. The music has been turned down a bit, the lights turned up a bit and the wierd art work taken down. But the same great staff is running the place. I have been pretty regular there over the years; the food and service is quite good. I know the Mexican food purists will dump all over the place, but it is what it is.

  2. Thanks for the comment Eric, that's good to know. Probably a good plan too.

  3. James Said...
    This new place still with the same staff in the front of the house but kitchen changed a lot for good!! Since Columbia Heights has families around and young people that like happy hour definitely it is a good place to try to see the good change.

  4. I wish that would happen on U Street too. That Alero has the worst food and environment (I guess they're not good at anything).

  5. I used to love the Alero in Cleveland Park a few years back when my girlfriend lived there. We went back a few months ago and they had completely changed the menu, definitely for the worse. This one wasn't too bad, I kind of liked the weird art, but a place that has consistent 4-stars is definitely better than a 3-star, although I would imagine the clientele in C-Heights is a little more discerning than in exurban/suburban Virginia


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