James and Megan Garrigan, owners of Lily & Liam Bistro and Upscale Burgers, celebrated the grand opening of their new burger restaurant, Upscale Rio, Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Garrigans, who live in Rio Rancho, know that local restaurants are important to their community. They opened Lily & Liam just prior to the pandemic and saw Upscale Burgers grow from a ghost kitchen in the bistro to a brick-and-mortar in Cottonwood Mall in 2021. They soft-launched Upscale Rio in May at the former Uncle T’s sandwich shop behind Hot Tamales.

“We really enjoy Cottonwood Mall and serving burgers down there, but we were super excited to find this location and be able to bring it back up to Rio Rancho,” James Garrigan said. “We know we need more burger spots, and making it from scratch, having a great team of bakers, cooks and chefs really makes a difference. We really strive for freshness and quality, and we worked really hard for this.”

Tuesday, Upscale Rio hosted dozens of friends, family and community leaders to celebrate the grand opening.

“When you can realize your dream like this and you can come into a community and offer something and become really well known for what you’re doing, that’s just amazing” Mayor Gregg Hull said. “You’re providing quality food and a quality place for people to enjoy.”

Upscale Rio offers the same menu as the Cottonwood location plus specials like Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta, Burger Brie, Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps and NY Steak Fingers.

The shop located at 1520 Deborah Road SE, Suite O is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Monday through Saturday.