The widely anticipated Margaritaville hotel on the Seven Mile strip will soon have something else to celebrate: the opening of its new restaurant and bar, YARA.

YARA is a new brand developed and trademarked by the Howard Hospitality Group (HHG). The first operation will be located in Grand Cayman, with future sites planned for Lima, Bogota, London and Miami.

YARA means “the place” in the native Taino language of the Caribbean and northern South America, before the Spanish influence started in 1592. It was a gathering place, sometimes mystical and sacred, dedicated to dinners and feasts, and sometimes religious celebrations. YARA is the type of upmarket establishment that you would find in most large cities with a defined food culture. It combines great food, well-mixed cocktails, a sophisticated yet affordable wine list, an energetic vibe, DJ, music, and a warm contemporary design, all in one outlet.


The menu has items that will appeal to all palates, particularly those who have a fondness for seafood and steaks.

Start with the Caribbean Seafood Bisque – a heady mix of seafood, herbs and coconut cream – then follow it with the Lobster & Caramelized Pork or Cayman Crab Cakes.

Of course, you could also choose something from the Raw Bar, like the Hamachi Ceviche or the Nikkei Style Tuna Tartare, and continue into a sumptuous Wagyu Ribeye with the chosen sauce of Truffle Butter and a side of Wasabi Mashed Potatoes.

No matter what you decide on for dinner, make sure you save room for dessert. The Dulce de Leche Churros or Chocolate Praline Soufflé will create the perfect end to the evening.

Executive Chef Carlos Contreras

Carlos Contreras comes to HHG as executive chef with decades of experience in a variety of cuisines and a global sensibility. He will oversee HHG’s culinary team, catering and banquet services, and numerous dining outlets including the global steakhouse YARA, a signature HHG concept.

Contreras has worked for some of the world’s leading hospitality companies including Hard Rock Hotels, Westin Hotels, Disney Cruise Lines, Ibero Cruise Lines, Hilton Hotels, Barceló Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group and the Michelin-starred Alejandro del Toro restaurant in Valencia, Spain.

He is a member of the World Gourmet Society and the World Food Travel Association. He holds a master’s degree in culinary management from the School of Hotel and Tourism in Valencia. He is also a graduate of the Guild of Master Confectioners and Pastry School in Valencia and Sergio Arboleda University in Bogotá, Columbia, which is where he was born.

People will love YARA to dine, drink, socialize, network and see or to be seen. Guests no longer have to think about different places for drinks, dinner and after-dinner drinks and music; YARA provides the “all-in-one” solution.