Staycation Vibes At The Cantina

Writer Ivy Rodgers
Photographer John Williams

Bringing local artists and good food and drink together is the ultimate combination at The Cantina in downtown York’s Royal Square community. Toni Calderone and Allison Witherow of O.N.E. Hospitality Group are striving to create experiences for every person who walks into the space. The culture of Royal Square is already a growing collaboration of York artists, and The Cantina reflects that atmosphere.

Everywhere you look inside and out, the space is filled with brilliantly painted walls and potted plants. A giant and colorful graffiti-styled mural in the hallway and paintings of Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo accent the dining area.

“Community must start from art,” says owner Toni Calderone. The Cantina has followed through on this idea by hiring local muralists, neon sign makers, carpenters and other fine artists to share their work.

Although the menu has plenty of delicious taco and burrito bowl options, The Cantina isn’t a traditional Latin American restaurant. “This is Mexican- and Latin-inspired bar food; it’s unintimidating and approachable bites,” Calderone adds.

The “staycation vibes” cover every aspect of The Cantina, from the food and creative bar drinks to the live music every weekend. Guests can feel transported to another city or country, without ever leaving York City.

Hidden to most of the city, through a brick alleyway, you’ll find a tiki bar serving the city’s best margaritas. The outdoor area of The Cantina is covered in green plants and brightly colored seating. As patrons sit back and relax, they can view one of the many murals featured in Royal Square.

Some can’t-miss events this summer include Thursday Latin Nights: DJ Ecliptic delivers the beats from 5 to midnight, along with open mics and live DJ sets. Duke Street Fridays are still happening, too, with dance parties courtesy of DJ Cashmire. Check out the full live music lineup and food and drink menu at thecantinayork.com.

YRK PERSPECTIVES:

How did art inspire The Cantina experience?

“Royal Square has galleries and artists practicing their craft, helping to bring people together. The food and drink have people staying here longer. And what we do is an art form, too.”

—  Toni Calderone, Owner of O.N.E. Hospitality Group, The Cantina

The Cantina
  • 105 S. Duke St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.456.0218
The Cantina
  • 105 S. Duke St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.456.0218