In the year 1985, The Red Iguana opened on 300 West, between 1st & 2nd South. The original restaurant only sat up to 18 Patrons, but was also an immediate success! After about a year of resounding applause & a long line of customers trailing down the sidewalk, a fire happened to destroy the building. It took a lot of time for a Mr. Ramon Sr and Maria Cardenas (the founders of the Red Iguana) to resettle into their business. The very much highly anticipated grand opening was a televised event on local news stations, which featured interviews with a bunch of satisfied customers.
Since that day, Red Iguana has continued to satisfy all of it's dedicated, patrons. Ramon Sr. (who is from San Luis Potosi) & the late Maria (who is from Chihuahua shared a beautiful passion for Mexican food. Their shared dream was to introduce Mexican cuisine that they both loved and savored, to the Salt Lake Valley. The Cardenas family has now been serving Mexican food in the valley since 1965.
They started with the Casa Grande, which was in business for a little over 20 years before the Red Iguana opened. Lucy and Ramon Jr (Ramon & Maria's children), started at a very young age to wash glasses, greet and seat customers, cook and assist in whatever way they could. Ramon Jr. became the official face and name for the Red Iguana until he passed away in mid-2004. His influence and memory, however, live on.
Present-day, Lucy Cardenas, her husband Bill Coker and their family of over 150 employees, continue offering the legendary Mexican cuisine her parents & brother cooked with love & joy. The family recipes can be enjoyed at Red Iguana, Red Iguana 2, and on a little bit of a smaller scale, Taste of Red Iguana.