Iguanas Baja will open soon on Main Street in Rock Port.

There hasn’t been much to look forward to during this pandemic. Although we’ve strived to create our own little positive environment around here, and have had many wonderful things happen, nothing has quite stirred us up like the opening of our favorite local restaurants, as well as adding two new ones. One of the new places to eat has all the Mexican-food lovers jumping for joy. Owner Javier Aranda from St. Joseph, Missouri, recently announced that he plans to open Iguanas Baja Mexican Restaurant in Rock Port. Although an opening date has not been set yet, we are all chomping at the bit just thinking about the deliciousness that awaits!

Javier purchased the former Rock Port Cafe at 401 Main Street and has begun renovations. The upstairs will see quite a lot of remodeling as it appears to have once been offices. Downstairs, which was formerly the cafe’s restaurant, will see some wall modifications, as well as changes made to the bathrooms and maybe some new flooring. 

Javier says he’s hoping to open as soon as the renovations are complete and he has all the permits and liquor licenses in order. Obviously, pandemic guidelines will also play a part in how fully he can open and how soon. Iguanas Baja will be open 7 days a week with Friday and Saturday hours of 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and all other days 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Javier has been in the restaurant business for 18 years and has run a few restaurants in the northwest Missouri area. However, Javier said he wants this first restaurant of his to have its own flavors and style, so he is creating the menu from scratch and can’t wait to share it with everyone. With a name like Iguanas Baja (which is due to the area he is originally from, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the number of iguanas in those parts), you know the restaurant is going to be its own little exotic oasis in our farming community. Javier plans to add some Baja-style seafood, meals, and drinks to his menu as well.

Having lived and worked in this area for some time now, Javier said Rock Port was an easy choice for his restaurant location. “I love small towns and how united the small communities are around here.” He said he looks forward to meeting everyone and supporting and being a part of this community as well.  Javier remarked that he’s very excited and can’t wait to get started!