Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville just signed a ten-year lease with Navy Pier, beating out ten other offers. This marks the second most northerly location for the chain after one in Niagara Falls, Ontario. As for why the tropical beach-themed restaurant decided to settle in the occasionally frigid climate of Chicago, Mr. Buffett told the Tribune that he “always thought of Chicago as a beach town, a pretty big one, but still a beach town.” We know he probably says this wherever he goes, but that almost made us blush. Anyway, this also means that a restaurant that has been at the pier since 1995 will be forced out.
Charlie’s Ale House, which has settled at Navy Pier for over fifteen years, is moving on. You may remember that another outlet of the restaurant in Andersonville was just converted into Acre. Co-owner Tim Rasmussen told the Tribune, “It’s sad for us,” but noted that “for the pier itself, it’s important that things be pruned and new growth occurs there.” That’s a gentlemanly exit.
For his part, Mr. Buffett kept laying on the charm. He claimed that the “pinnacle of live performances to me” was at Wrigley Field, and that “I have had a long and wonderful history and affection for the people, the music, the art and the food of the Windy City.”
Now, we’ve never been to a Margaritaville before, so we’ll have to see how the actual food is going to be. If you have been, please let us know.