Selena's Salsa Night

Selena's Guadalajara is a small Mexican restaurant that’s easy to overlook as you're driving past on 45th Street. If you haven’t eaten there, you’re not really missing much. But if you like salsa dancing and you haven’t been there, you should remedy the situation immediately. On weekends, the waitstaff clears away the tables, hits the lights, and starts up the fog machine to transform the restaurant into a dance club. A DJ spins rare salsa records from the ’60s and ’70s, including plenty of upbeat tempos and the occasional schmaltzy ballad. Selena’s is friendly and familial. The patrons are truly there to dance—not to get wasted and hit on one another. And while it draws a predominately Hispanic crowd, everybody is welcomed with open arms. But novices, be warned: Feisty (and slightly intimidating) restaurant owner Laura Santibañez often sneaks away from her bartending duties to salsa with her customers—and she doesn’t take no for an answer. ERIKA HOBART

Fridays, Saturdays, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., 2009

 
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