La Cantina to open downtown this week

Photo by Robert Noles

By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

La Cantina is bringing a little south-of-the-border flavor north of downtown Opelika’s railroad tracks.
The restaurant, located at 870 N. Railroad Ave., held a soft opening last month, and several lunch-only offerings over the last few weeks. La Cantina’s restaurant manager Amelia Trenga said that they have seen a solid turnout.
“So far, we’ve had all the tables filled up every lunch,” Trenga said.
The menu at La Cantina possesses a Tex-Mex feel and according to marketing coordinator Jennifer Collins, will be constantly evolving and changing based on the seasonal availability of certain items and customer demand.
“We actually have a plan to continue to come up with new dishes and see what is popular and continue to work on it,” Collins said.
Trenga said that La Cantina customers can expect an affordable, but quality meal that is prepared, cooked and served in an authentic and upscale way.
“Everything is made from scratch, everything is made fresh. There’s not frozen ingredients … and all the drinks come to order,” Trenga said.
La Cantina Bar Manager James Shiflett said in addition to the quality products found at the restaurant, patrons can also expect impeccable service.
“It’s not just about the quality of the food or drinks … the standard we have there. It’s also the standard of service and the experience we’ve all brought into the restaurant,” Shiflett said. “Every one of us comes from a different background, and we’re all working together to try to make sure we offer not only all that, but absolutely perfect service.”
Collins said she wants to see La Cantina become a destination of distinction in Opelika.
“Through market research, it was determined that there was a need for Mexican in this area, and we kind of looked around and saw that a lot of the Mexican places … are very similar,” Collins said. “We wanted to do something that was just upscale – a couple steps above what you can find at other places and hopefully keeping with the rest of the downtown feel.”
With space to fit 184 patrons, the restaurant will launch a four-day long grand opening starting Jan. 11-15. Their regular operating hours will be Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The building, which took 15 months to renovate, features wooden beams that were recovered from the West Point Pepperell Mill, original 1930s tile and patio seating for 40. General Manager Bill Young said the menu will feature six signature margaritas, speciality drinks and 10-15 craft beers. Shiflett said everything will be mixed by hand, and patrons can expect high quality liquors and spirits.
“Any martini, and old-fashioned, any other drink you can think of at a high-end bar in New York … they’ll be able to get the same thing here,” Shiflett said.
Young said they are still seeking experienced applicants, and they can either stop by in person and pick up an application, or apply online at
For more information, find La Cantina on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or call (334) 203-1418.


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