UTAH JAZZ

Salt Lake restaurant owners ‘honored’ to be selected by NBA

Dec 29, 2020, 7:57 PM
(People waiting to eat at Red Iguana in Salt Lake City.  Credit: Paul Nelson)...
(People waiting to eat at Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(People waiting to eat at Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – A trio of restaurant owners in Salt Lake City are getting high praise from the NBA, as their restaurants have been approved as places to eat for away players coming into the state. They’re calling this stamp of approval a high honor.

One of the restaurants on the approved list is Red Iguana on North Temple near 800 West.  Owner Lucy Cardenas said she was surprised to hear from the NBA to arrange a time where league representatives could inspect their restaurant. She believes the players must have requested to go there.

Cardenas added, “we have taken care of them over the years. We take care of musicians and a lot of people. They love coming to our restaurant.”

The restaurant has a huge fandom outside of Utah, partly due to her appearances on the Food Network show Diners Drive-Ins and Dive, but also partly due to out-of-state visitors coming to Salt Lake to see their team play against the Jazz.

Cardenas relayed that running a restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly tricky, with sales dropping between 35-40 percent. So, the recognition from the NBA comes at a very good time.

“I’m just grateful, but this is all a reflection of my parents and their hard work and dedication to their business,” Cardenas said.

The other two restaurants on the list are Manoli’s Greek restaurant on 900 South and Valter Osteria’s on Broadway. Valter Osteria’s Co-Owner Valter Nassi said basketball players eat at his restaurant, frequently, and he loves when Jazz players come to visit.

“Some of them call me ‘Uncle Walter,’” Nassi said.

League officials looked over his restaurant to ensure it could meet COVID-19 safety recommendations, but he didn’t know his place was selected until his friend told him after watching the news.  Nassi said he loves the city and strives to make each tourist’s visit memorable.

“People that come from outside have to leave the town with the formula to say, ‘Wow, Salt Lake City is very hospitable,” Nassi said.

In order to qualify for approval, restaurants have to have either outdoor seating or a separate room where the players can eat in a different area from the rest of the customers.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Jazz

Image of Vivint Arena from the outside...
Chandler Holt

A Utah Jazz rebrand could mean big changes in 2023

The Utah Jazz have had many different looks since their relocation to Salt Lake City in 1979. A rebrand may introduce a new era of uniforms for the 2023 season.
2 months ago
Photo of new tags installed by Digital Seat Media for Utah Jazz home games...
Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz home games receive a big upgrade just before the playoffs

The Utah Jazz has partnered with Digital Seat Media to install tags that fans can scan to access seating maps, food ordering, and more.
3 months ago
(The Vivint Arena, with a countdown to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.  Photo: Paul Nelson, March 23, 2...
Paul Nelson

NBA watching Utah and the proposed transgender student sports ban

If a transgender sports ban is upheld by the Utah legislature, it's possible the 2023 NBA All-Star game could be pulled out of Salt Lake City.
3 months ago
Vivint Arena...
Mark Jones

Utah Jazz Foundation will fund 32,200 nights of housing for refugees

The Utah Jazz Foundation made a donation to AirBnB.org to fund 32,200 nights of housing for refugees fleeing Ukraine.
4 months ago
The Ukrainian national anthem will be played before tonight's Jazz game....
Samantha Herrera

Local violinist to perform Ukrainian national anthem at tonight’s Jazz game

The Ukrainian national anthem will be performed by a local violinist before tonight's Jazz game. The NBA usually only plays the U.S. or Canadian anthems.
4 months ago
Jordon Clarkson...
Mark Jones

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson says fan ‘crossed a line,’ fan later removed

Clarkson's teammates and security prevented an escalation. Later, Jordan Clarkson hit a pair of free throws to seal a Jazz victory.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Salt Lake restaurant owners ‘honored’ to be selected by NBA