You might wonder, as you stroll down Fallsview Boulevard in Niagara Falls and find yourself face to face with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant … has he ever actually been there?
Lots of big stars open their own restaurants, but do they really ever visit them?
In the case of Jimmy Buffett, the answer is yes, he did.
The restaurant hadn’t been open all that long, and in the summer of 2010 the master of the Parrotheads – accompanied by longtime band member Mac MacAnally and some other musicians – made a surprise visit to his Falls venue.
He and the boys played an hour-long set that included classics like Come Monday, Son of a Son of a Sailor, Fins and, of course, Margaritaville.
The jovial frontman stuck around to sign autographs and mingle with his fans. It’s his custom to visit every restaurant that bears his name, at least once.
In Niagara Falls, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is nestled right in the heart of the Fallsview tourism district, close to the iconic attractions like the Niagara Fallsview Casino, the Skylon Tower and not too far away, the falls themselves.
The menu is wide-ranging and varied, and includes titles that sound like songs off his albums: try some Volcano Nachos, sample the Drunken Shrimp Skillet, the Lava Lava Shrimp or maybe Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jambalaya.
Or pull up a seat at the Boat Drinks Bar. You know any restaurant named for Jimmy Buffett isn’t going to be some humdrum burger grill. You get the full Parrothead experience here.
And of course, his restaurants would be named for the song that made him a household name in most parts of the world.
Apparently, the song Margaritaville was written as a filler piece, just one of a bunch of really good songs on his breakout album Changes In Latitude, Changes In Attitude.
By 1977, he’d released at least a half-dozen albums and had a loyal but small following. But that album – driven mostly by that song – propelled him toward the legend status he enjoys today.
Since then, he and his band have been selling out stadiums around the world, followed by his loyal Parrotheads, the name fans adopted as a nod to his carefree, fun in the sun image.
That’s the mood they try to convey at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Niagara Falls, too. Nothing too stuffy. You don’t have to dress up. Just show up and relax.
And when you’re holidaying in the Honeymoon City, or just visiting for a day or so, what else could be better?