Cocktails and dancing girls: 32 pictures from the opening of York’s newest restaurant

Cocktail expert Joe with salsa dancers Nina and Laucinda at the opening of Las Iguanas in York. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
1 Apr 2016 @ 7.07 pm
| Food & drink
Cocktail expert Joe with salsa dancers Nina and Laucinda at the opening of Las Iguanas in York. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Cocktail expert Joe with salsa dancers Nina and Laucinda from Encuentro Latino at the opening of Las Iguanas in York. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography

Aided by two dancing girls in outfits more suited to a sultry Argentinian night than a fresh spring evening in Yorkshire, the atmosphere inside York’s newest restaurant was nearly as hot as the chilli.

The ultimate caipirinha?
The ultimate caipirinha?
Las Iguanas opened on Back Swinegate in the premises vacated by La Tasca, with an opening night devoted to delivering colourful cocktails and flame-grilled Latin American food.

Along with other opening-night guests, including the Lord Mayor, we crushed ice, limes and sugar to create our own caipirinha cocktails.

The drink list contains the usual suspects – mojito, pina colada, Long Island iced tea – all reasonably priced at £7.95. More so with the opening offers and happy hour that lasts much more than 60 minutes.

With red and white wines from Brazil, Chile and Argentina and bottled beers ranging in strength from alcohol-free to 6.4% ABV, the menu offers plenty of choice.

Fiery food

In a similar vein, the food menu offers starters ranging from jerk bbq glazed pork ribs to calamari (both £5.75 each and really delicious).

Mains include burgers (around £11), fajitas (around £15) and chilli (£11). The latter, chosen with smoky chipotle butter was fiery and full-flavoured.

York’s Las Iguanas is the 48th to open in 25 years of the chain. It brings a relaxed vibe that compliments the café culture of Back Swinegate.

Las Iguanas

21 Back Swinegate, York YO1 8AD

Open noon-11pm

01904 521100

Website

The restaurant is friendly, spacious and contemporary. The look is created from a mix of reclaimed and recycled materials – ranging from original brick walls to pieces of distressed timber.

It has two spacious floors, catering for 120 covers. And the bonus is its spacious roof terrace, seating 70, which will be the place to be seen for a cocktail or two in the warmer months.

Opening on a chilly spring evening, it provided a warm welcome.

Downstairs in the contemporary new restaurant, Las Iguanas. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Downstairs in the contemporary new restaurant, Las Iguanas. Photograph: Richard McDougall
In the upstairs bar. Photograph: Richard McDougall
In the upstairs bar. Photograph: Richard McDougall
A busy launch night. Photograph: Richard McDougall
A busy launch night. Photograph: Richard McDougall
LIghting the way… the neon sign. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Lighting the way… the neon sign. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The exterior of the restaurant. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The exterior of the restaurant. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The atrium at Las Iguanas. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The atrium at Las Iguanas. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Secrets in the shadows… Photograph: Richard McDougall
Secrets in the shadows… Photograph: Richard McDougall
The Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Sonja Crisp, and Lord Mayor’s Consort Ian Crisp on the roof terrace with two new friends. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
The Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Sonja Crisp, and Lord Mayor’s Consort Ian Crisp on the roof terrace with two new friends. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Cheers! Here's to a new nightspot in York… Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Cheers! Here’s to a new nightspot in York… Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Our man Richard McDougall and wife Vanessa get to grips with caipirinhas. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Our man Richard McDougall and wife Vanessa get to grips with caipirinhas. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Vanessa, Richard and Gillian Rackham at the cocktail masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Vanessa, Richard and Gillian Rackham at the cocktail masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Georgina Hallgate, Kate Maughan-Brown and Richard Hall. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Georgina Hallgate, Kate Maughan-Brown and Richard Hall. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
YorkMix wine writer Mike Tipping and his wife Sue. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
YorkMix wine writer Mike Tipping and his wife Sue. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Caroline Williams and Kay Hyde. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Caroline Williams and Kay Hyde. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Master mixer Joe gives the lowdown on creating cracking cocktails. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Master mixer Joe gives the lowdown on creating cracking cocktails. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
York Press journalists Haydn Lewis, Gavin Aitchison, Mike Laycock, Laura Knowles and friends receive a bespoke cocktail masterclass at their table. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
York Press journalists Haydn Lewis, Gavin Aitchison, Mike Laycock, Laura Knowles and friends receive a bespoke cocktail masterclass at their table. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
The York Press team get their hands on at the Cocktail Masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
The York Press team get their hands on at the Cocktail Masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Natalie and Shane Bogg. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Natalie and Shane Bogg. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Kate Maughan-Brown can’t resist a chance to try a salsa dancer headdress. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Kate Maughan-Brown can’t resist a chance to try a salsa dancer headdress. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Prep for the cocktail masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Prep for the cocktail masterclass. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Grub's up! Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Grub’s up! Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Service with a smile. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Service with a smile. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Simon Hudson of Minster FM with Las Iguanas salsa dancers Laucinda and Nina. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Simon Hudson of Minster FM with Las Iguanas salsa dancers Laucinda and Nina. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Salsa Dancers Nina and Laucinda with Richard Hall and Kate Maughan-Brown. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Salsa Dancers Nina and Laucinda with Richard Hall and Kate Maughan-Brown. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
PJ and Orsi Edgar. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
PJ and Orsi Edgar. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Belinda and Nick Maunsell. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Belinda and Nick Maunsell. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
The sign on Finkle Street. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
The sign on Finkle Street. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Laucinda and Nina. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Laucinda and Nina. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Follow the arrow to York's Latin American corner. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Follow the arrow to York’s Latin American corner. Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Wrap up it's chilly out… Photograph: Tom Joy Photography
Wrap up it’s chilly out… Photograph: Tom Joy Photography