When Roger Alex Espinal and his wife, Rixy Ulloa, opened Spanglish Bar & Grill in November of 2019, there was one ingredient they insisted be used generously throughout the restaurant – inclusion. 

“I just wanted to bring that welcoming, local, friendly [atmosphere for] people of all walks of life,” said. 

Roger Alex Espinal is the owner of Spanglish Bar & Grill at the Strand, West Bay Road. Photo by Kevin Morales.

Espinal and his family have long owned Latin Taste, off of Shedden Road. He says he wanted to bring the same type of vibe that exists at Latin Taste to the Seven Mile Beach corridor so that visitors could more easily have access to authentic Latin flavours and locals could have a place to feel comfortable in an area more known for catering to Cayman’s tourism product.  

So pretty simple — whether you’re a native Spanish or English speaker, you’ll feel right at home. 

“This was really my dream, to make it through to West Bay Road,” he said. 

Nearly two years in — and past the pandemic — he says so far, so good. Nestled into The Strand, the restaurant offers a cozy feel featuring modern lounge decor with a hint of urban jungle. 

Spanglish prides itself on what Espinal describes as its Latin and Mexican cuisine, which he’s quick to point out are similar but also distinctly different. 

“Mexican is more like nachos, more corn tortillas, more shredded beef with some cilantro, Pico de Gallo… a lot of jalapenos,” he said. “When you say Latin, we do have more flour tortillas, like baleadas, for example. You are not going to find a baleada in Mexico.” 

Another dish you won’t see in Mexico? Parrillada, a family feast that’s one of Spanglish’s specialties. It features grilled beef, chicken, chorizo, pork cops and refried beans served with a host of other sides like fried plantain and accompanied by Pico de Gallo and green chimichurri. If that’s simply not enough, you can add smoked baby back ribs and corn. 

Spanglish offers a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood options as well as steaks, tacos and specialties from Mexico, Colombia and Espinal’s native Honduras. 

“That’s what’s great, we do have a variety,” he said. 

They also have a bar where customers can sip on a variety of beverages like the Tamarind, Mango and original margaritas while chatting with friends or watching Champions League football on TV. What better time to try them out than between 4-7 p.m. for Spanglish’s daily happy hour? And if it happens to be Tuesday, make sure to check out their Taco Tuesday specials. 

Spanglish is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is available for order through several Cayman-based food delivery apps. For both Espinal and his wife, Ulloa, Spanglish is a dream many years in the making come true. 

“This is a good atmosphere,” Espinal said. “[Everyone is] welcome.” 

By Kevin Morales

Content Studio Owner.