A promise to Parrotheads? Margaritaville expected to open early 2014

Matt Algarin
According to signs on site, Destin's Margaritaville is expected to open its doors early this year. The restaurant, which already has more than 1,200 likes on its Facebook page, has already been hiring staff.

Slated for an "early 2014 opening," construction  at Destin's Margaritaville is getting closer to wrapping up.

"It creates a draw, something to bring people back to the harbor," Legendary Inc. CEO Peter Bos told The Log. "Five years ago the harbor was a blighted area... last year we had more than three million people visit the harbor."

The Jimmy Buffet-inspired restaurant takes over the site formerly occupied by The Lucky Snapper, and most recently Tightlines Bar and Grill. The site has undergone tremendous renovations ahead of its new tenant’s arrival in Destin.

The building has been redesigned to have more of a beach village feel, and will feature several stores, a booking booth for boat charters and a stage on east side of the building.

Not only will Margaritaville draw visitors to the harbor, it will draw foot traffic to other business along the harbor as they stroll the harbor boardwalk, Bos said.

"It will be good for HarborWalk, but it will also be good for the other restaurants and shops," he said.

Representatives from Lucky Break PR, which represents Margaritaville restaurants preferred not to discuss the project, given it's still under construction and plans may shift between now and opening. A representative told The Log "it's really too premature to do any sort of interview on the project."

Buffett visited Destin personally to inspect the construction in October.

Bos told the Northwest Florida Daily News at the time that “He came in and spent the day. He is very, very, very happy with the building and excited about being in Destin.”