Reviewing Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Right Here on the Vegas Strip
Keep reading and you may be hooked every night of the week in Vegas.
Every good party town needs its "go-to" bar, a place where people can casually gather to have a few drinks in a comfortable, receptive setting at any time of the day or night.
A place where you feel at home, that you treat almost as if it's a friend's house. Stop by anytime for a drink and conversation.
A spot you can go to in the afternoon, for Happy Hour or on a busy weekend night. Where the food is good enough to bring you in for lunch and dinner.
A bar where if nothing much is happening when you get there, all you have to do is wait a while because the party – be it a Monday or a Saturday – is likely to come to you at some point.
Videos of Buffett songs and shows are the star, until the mermaid emerges.
Dukes in Waikiki is that way.
In Las Vegas, that place is Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe.
With the best location on the Strip – right in the middle of it, attached to the Flamingo and across from Caesars – Margaritaville is perfectly positioned to be what it is: King of the Strip.
This article explains why it's King of the Strip.
Fueled by The Perfect Margarita, Team PubClub flirts with the mermaid.
At Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, it's always 5 o'clock, not somewhere but right here.
There's also more than just booze in the blender. It also renders a mermaid. Every 45 minutes or so starting about 5, the song "Volcano" is played, employees come out on stilts, and tables in the bar area are moved back a bit from the giant "margarita" pitcher.
In addition to the Buffett concert video, there's a mermaid volcano show.
Fishing boats make up part of the restaurant but the bar is better.
Out of the blender, the mermaid gets lowered to the floor on a fishing hook.
Suddenly, the volcano-shaped roof springs to life, a beautiful girl in a bikini comes sliding down the volcano and splashes into the pitcher. She's then lifted out and twirls around on a fish hook for a while.
At this point, you'll either love this place or love it not. And most people love it.
Margaritaville is, year and year out, the highest grossing restaurant in Vegas. That's saying something. And it helps that a lot of that revenue comes from its drinks, for the bar always has at least a dozen people in it, and sometimes it's so crowded you have to lean in to get a drink.
It's also casual, so you can go in at any time; PubClub.com prefers to take a table in the bar, ideally getting one looking out onto the restaurant and straight at the screen that looks like a giant sail.
It is those videos that are the main draw. They are mainly of Buffett songs but even more intoxicating, so to speak, of his concerts. Those videos show the insanity that are Jimmy Buffett shows, people dressing up like Polynesian natives in grass skirts, coconut bras, leis and Hawaiian shirts.
All the while holding some type of frozen concoction in front of a tiki bar that someone has made and taken into the parking lot.
For Parrotheads, this enables them to relieve those concerts, as well as see the creativity of Parrotheads in other cities. PubClub can sit there for hours watching those videos, laughing and thinking about the great times and moments from bygone Buffett shows.
PubClub's drink of choice is The Perfect Margarita, a taste acquired soon after the place opened after trying all the margaritas on the menu. There's no pre-made mix; it's just lots of tequila, triple sec, lime juice and a lime. After all, as Joe Namath once said, "If you're not going to go all the way, why go at all?"
Sit in the bar, have a few drinks and strike up a conversation; there always seems to be someone interesting in Margaritaville. That's a big part of its draw. You can also find yourself spending two, three, or even four times as long in there as you had originally intended when you first walked in for the famous "one or two and see what happens."
It's certainly not the prices that bring in the people. You won't find any Happy Hour here and beers are $7-8 and margaritas around $10. Food is not outrageous; less than $15.
Margaritaville is located in the Flamingo Hilton in the center of the Las Vegas Strip. The 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar, through the gift shop in the Margaritaville casino, is pretty lame. Though it does have girls in cowboy hats come by to dance on the bar.