Iguana Cantina Baltimore, Maryland



All you can drink (and hold on the bathroom line).

The Power Plant Live complex breathed new life into downtown Baltimore a few years back with restaurants, bars, clubs and the ever popular “Arena Liquor License,” which allows patrons to drink openly in the plaza while hopping venues. But down the street charging in with its own power is new club, Iguana Cantina. The downtown newbie boasts a live radio broadcast party night and a ladies’ night party, where chaps-clad bartenders dance and strip-tease atop the bar, reverse-Coyote-Ugly-style. We sent this month’s Stalkers to put down their books and check out the Thursday College Night party at Iguana.

Stalker #1
This wasn’t my first choice of clubs to go to on the ladies’ night out, but like any group of college girls, you’ve just got to go with the flow sometimes. So, as I make my way towards the spot I see “Iguana Cantina” in big red letters, lit up enough for the whole city to see. From outside, it has the look of a fast food restaurant, but fast and food are the last things you should expect. I plopped myself on the line with my girlfriends, and as I’m waiting in the freezing cold and I suddenly realize that I forgot my college ID. Meaning: My night would start off with a little anger and a little less loot, dumping half my budget on a higher cover! Can’t they tell I’m a college student? After making our way to the doors and not getting stamped by the first set of security guys, we went to the window to pay. They gave us tickets there, and then we went through another “bouncer” who took them. Geez! It took like 30 minutes of our night just to get in.  
Now if you’re 21 at this club (and a legitimate ID-bearing college student), your $12 cover (I paid $15) gets you all you can drink. You get a cup from the beginning and go to the bar and get anything poured into it! 
As we step in, of course I want to get right on the dancefloor. The disco ball is spinning, lights are flashing, and the latest rap song is playing. The place was one huge room and the open atmosphere is something most people seemed to appreciate when we first arrived. But soon it was packed and eventually people were sardines.
There was a bar in the center of the place and about three more on the sides.  Two pool tables were set up mostly for the guys, but eventually for some tube-topped girls to dance on top of.  I made my way up on a little stage because I refused to be squished in the mosh down below. At one point, there were too many girls on the stage and I blurted out my frustration to the DJ entourage.  The DJ told me to go behind the stage, so with two of my girlfriends in tow, we went behind the DJ booth with the crew.  Apparently the whole lighting system of the club is done by a computer with a 30-year-old guy just clicking the mouse on a graph at what lighting he wants. I was pretty excited to be able to see that, and I began having so much fun there. The DJ played all of the latest and greatest songs and hits. All in all, it was a great place to dance and party, and if you’re 21 you really couldn’t go wrong.
The only thing I was iffy about was the people there, but in the end I wasn’t really there for them anyway.

Stalker #2
I hit up Iguana for Thursday’s College Night and found quite a party at the new spot. The sound system and lighting at this place blew away the Power Plant live clubs, and was a relief from the annoying siren at Power’s BAR and other annoyances at Baja.
Inside Iguana Cantina the feeling is fiesta, or acid trip, with bright iguana designs and southwestern murals on the walls. It’s a huge space with large wooden dancefloors, but it still got pretty crowded early on.
Like a college night should be, there were many bars and the bartenders were pounding out drinks in a mass production faster than a Nike sweatshop.
The only downer for this Stalker was how long the wait for the guys bathroom was, especially since cover included free and unlimited rail drinks, house wine, shots and beer. Take my advice, stick to the shots and avoid the beer unless you’ve got a bladder of steel.

Copyright 2005 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2005 TESTA Communications