Owner: Iguana Cantina will reopen as upscale rum bar
Iguana Cantina isn't going away -- it's just getting a facelift, according to owner Tim Bennett.
Bennett, who closed the large club at 124 Market Place this week, said he plans to turn it into an upscale rum bar in the next three to four months.
Tentatively called Mojito's Rum Bar, the 10,000-square foot building would be split into two spaces, which would give it a more intimate feel. Right now, a crowd smaller than 500 people makes the place look empty, Bennett said.
Five years ago, when Bennett opened Iguana Cantina in the space formerly occupied by the Culture Club, crowds flocked to the spot. But business has died off in the past four to six months, Bennett said. ...
Several weeks ago, he called his landlords and told them of his plans to redo the place. Iguana Cantina had run its course, he said.
"Nightclubs like this don't last forever," he said. "Four to five years is a lifetime for a club."
Bennett cut his teeth at Hammerjack's, which he ran on Howard Street from 1991-1997 and helped reopen on Guilford Avenue in 2000. With Mojito's Rum Bar, he said he plans to drop college night specials and appeal to a 21+ crowd. Bennett said he has a 20-year lease on the spot -- an initial 10-year agreement with two five-year options.
"It's tough for me," he said. "I had my life in [Iguana Cantina]. It's not an easy decision to make, but was the right decision."
(Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna)