With the cut of a ribbon, over-the-top margaritas and enough fanfare to make Mickey Mouse jealous, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is ready to "let the fin begin" after Monday's grand opening.
"I can't begin to tell you how excited we are to be here," said Flavio Yepo, the restaurant's general manager.
The 27,000-square foot, harbor front restaurant is the newest edition to HarborWalk Village. The Buffett-inspired eatery was packed to the gills with hungry residents, news media and Parrot Heads.
With both indoor and outdoor seating, Margaritaville sits in the former home of Lucky Snapper along the harbor, and features enough seating for more than 400 guests.
Just a few weeks after The Log was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the restaurant, Margartitaville had been completely transformed.
With a Margaritaville restaurant located in Panama City Beach and a LandShark Bar and Grill on Pensacola Beach, Legendary Inc. CEO Peter Bos said Destin's island oasis almost didn't happen.
"Margaritaville actually turned down Destin," he said of the initial pitch to land the restaurant.
But persistence paid off.
"The team has turned this into the perfect Margaritaville," Bos said. "We are making our dreams true."
He told The Log this project wouldn't have been possible without business partners, Bobby and Vickie Guidry, and his team of architects and general contractors.
Margaritaville has already hired and trained more than 200 employees to work in its Destin location.
As for whether the famed singer will make an appearance? You'll just have to keep an eye and ear open as Buffett is known to play impromptu shows at his various restaurants nationwide.
As the ribbon was set to be cut, representatives from Margaritaville, Bos, Mayor Sam Seevers and other dignitaries let out a big "fins up" shout.
"This city embodies everything Margaritaville represents, from its beautiful Gulf Coast location and outdoor lifestyle to the great people who live and visit here," Yepo told the raucous crowd.