Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett christened the newly opened Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort (1111 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood) this past Saturday with a 90-minute concert that featured his greatest hits.
The $150 million hotel/entertainment complex, which soft-opened in September, held its official grand-opening celebration this past Saturday. Fans of the singer's laid-back lifestyle partied with Buffett-branded food and drinks — sipping Margaritaville margaritas and LandShark lagers to go with their Cheeseburgers in Paradise at the resort's bars and restaurants.
The 349-room resort boasts eight bars and restaurants: Margaritaville, License to Chill Bar, Floridays Airstream Café, Lone Palm Beach Bar, LandShark Bar & Grill, Five O'Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, Margaritaville Coffee Shop, and Buffett's first fine-dining establishment, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood. All restaurants and bars are open to the public except the rooftop License to Chill Bar, which is available to resort guests only. JWB Prime Steak & Seafood is expected to open in the next few weeks.
Though the afternoon looked to be a washout, with a cold front moving in squalls of heavy rain, the skies cleared in time for the singer's scheduled 4 p.m. call time. Parrotheads spilled out from the makeshift stage across from the iconic Hollywood Beach Bandshell onto the Broadwalk and any available patio and rooftop to get a clear view of Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band.
As Buffett took to the stage, he exclaimed, "I finally get to play the bandshell!" He performed a 90-minute set of his greatest hits, including "Come Monday," "Fins," and "Margaritaville" as the crowd sang along. A giant screen behind the band showed images of island scenes, volcanoes, and palm trees to go with the music.
At one point during the concert, Buffett traded in his teal-green electric guitar for an acoustic one, which he said he bought in Paris some years ago. In a tribute to Paris in the wake of Friday's terrorist attacks, he sang an introspective rendition of his 1973 song "He Went to Paris," whose lyrics tell the story of a Spanish Civil War veteran who endured multiple heartbreaks before finding peace in the islands.
Of course, you must have a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" with your margarita. Buffett sang his love song to the sandwich with a colossal pop-art cheeseburger in the background.
Margaritavlle Hollywood Beach Resort is open daily and makes a great weekend retreat or even an afternoon staycation for people looking for a mini getaway where there's always booze in the blender.