REGULARS at a North-East restaurant and bar had extra reason to raise a toast after it scooped a national award.

Voodoo Cafe, in Darlington, was crowned the best Latin restaurant outside London in this year’s Latin UK Awards (Lukas).

The restaurant, in Skinnergate, run by husband and wife team, Les and Kendra Fry, was also runner-up in the tango dance venue category for their weekly dance nights.

The Lukas celebrate the contribution of Britain’s Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents and business owners.

Mr Fry said: “A lot of the businesses we were up against were large businesses in big cities. Smaller businesses like ours have strong communities and we work with a lot of different dance communities who have continued to support us so we really appreciate it.

“It was not just about winning an award for amazing food, a lot of restaurants have that, it was much more about the community and putting Darlington on the map.”

Voodoo Cafe was the first Mexican restaurant and bar in Darlington when it opened in 2007, and has since developed a reputation for authentic Mexican food, cocktails and tequila, as well as becoming a hub salsa and tango dancing.

The couple began running the restaurant and bar as a team in 2010 after Mrs Fry gave up her job as a teacher at the town’s Firthmoor Primary School.

She said: “We have got a more multi-cultural outlook on the way things are done. It brings something different to Darlington.

“You become so involved in running a restaurant. You are always looking for ways to improve your food and cocktails.”

More Darlington News