Red Iguana – Salt Lake City

I have an update on The Red Iguana.  They are back open for business.

Both Joe and I felt really bad about leaving the restaurant and not paying for our food.  Even though it was not our  choice to leave without paying, being herded out of there by the Salt Lake City police because of the events going on next door at the motel.

We talked about what we would do to make things right, in our eyes and on our conscious.  Especially since we don’t live close to the Red Iguana and won’t be able to just drop in and pay them.

I wrote a check for $50 hoping this was going to be enough to cover our dinner and leave a tip for our server – Octavio.  On a sticky note I wrote what we had ordered and stuck both the check and the sticky note in an envelope, then mailed it from the hotel office the day we checked out.

We were going to be headed back to Grantsville, Utah to the Wal-Mart to get more trucks and were planning on staying at the same hotel then drop in at the Red Iguana and pay with a credit card if they did not want to accept a check.  No such luck.  A huge outdoor convention is being held in Salt Lake City and there is not a room to be had for miles around.

I called and spoke with the manager on duty at the Red Iguana and asked if they had received the envelope I had mailed.  It was there.

I was told the restaurant was back open for business on Sunday at 2:30 in the afternoon.  They had a huge mess to clean up before they could reopen.

I never thought about what they were left with.  As we were all told to leave by the police, all the dishes were left on the tables as they had been when we got up to leave.  The pots and pans in the kitchen were still on the stoves and in the ovens, after the burners had all been turned off.

Kind of like coming into your kitchen and dining room after a huge party the morning after and seeing all the remains of the festivities left behind for you to clean up all by yourself.

The police gave them the go ahead to return to the restaurant at 11:30 Sunday morning and they walked into that mess.

Can you imagine the aroma of stale food left out for nearly two days?  I bet there were a lot of trips to the dumpster made that morning.  The dishwasher would have been up to his/her neck in tableware, pots, and pans.

The wonderful sauces, or Moles (prounounced mo-lay-s), would have to be thrown out and new made.  Can you imagine the chatter that was going on during all the clean up?  Each person telling their story of the events and of what they did with the unexpected days off.

I’m glad to know they are back open for business.  Even though the wait times to be seated are long it has always been worth the wait.  With the outdoor convention in high gear just a few blocks away I hope the Red Iguana enjoys many new patrons that will return the next time they are in town.  Likewise, the local patrons will be assured their favorite restaurant is back open.

This event being on the national news, no less, and the coverage they have had from the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives show can help draw in customers.  Even for the curiosity seekers that just want to say they had been to the Red Iguana after all the mayhem.

To all those at the Red Iguana, this is to let you know the next time Joe and I are in town we will be standing in line, waiting for a seat at one of your tables.

About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

6 responses to “Red Iguana – Salt Lake City

  • Nancy

    Thanks so much for wrapping up this end of the story Leslie! I really wondered what had happened to all that mess in the Red Iguana! Also, it was so good of you guys to pay! I’m sure most would not even consider it! Great job!! 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Nancy. Joe and I talked at length about what to do about paying, neither one of us was totally thrilled at leaving it unresolved. Both of us have an extremely strong belief in “What goes around comes around” and we have both experienced the backlash more than once. The manager at the Red Iguana said the owner was alright with no one paying since it wasn’t our fault we had to leave. That just didn’t sit very well with Joe and I. We would have felt guilty the next time we went in to the restaurant and would not have enjoyed ourselves. Now we can go back with a clear conscience.

  • Pati

    I’m so proud of you both sis, trying your best to still pay for what you both ate and drank in spite of the fact that the police made all the people leave.

    And then checking in to see how things were going when they came back to see the mess, i am VERY sure they appreciated that you tried to make good.

    They all knew it couldnt be helped. I am sure it WAS quite a mess to clean up, i really feel sorry for all those people left to clean up the mess.

    • Message In A Fold

      I never thought about the state of the restaurant after we were all told to leave. When I talked with the manager and he told me what they came back to I groaned for him and the staff. There are a lot of tables in this small space and every one of the tables were jam packed with people. That is just the public area. The kitchen area had to have been in a worse state.

      They are back open for business and I am glad for that.

  • Lynn Claridge

    Well I don’t envy the staff of the Red Iguana having to go back and face all that mess but I bet your concern was much appreciated by them all and how like you to fel bad that you hadn’t paid. Girlfriend you make me feel so proud to know you.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx

    • Message In A Fold

      Jeezers!! I don’t envy the Red Iguana staff and the clean up they had to do either. What a mess that would have been.

      Thank you Lynn…Joe and I talked for a long time on what we should do. I imagine most people just left things as they were and thought they got a free meal. Joe and I considered how we would feel the next time we went to the Red Iguana to eat and had not paid. Both of us know that we would have felt guilty and would not be able to enjoy the food or atmosphere again because we ruined it for ourselves. It may have been selfish on our part, but at least we can go back and not have a heavy cloud over our heads.
      Love you – Leslie

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