CLEVELAND -- As we celebrate the Fourth, in the East Bank of the Flats in Cleveland, it’s all about fireworks, food and margaritas!
Stepping inside Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville will definitely take you away to paradise; just ask some die-hard fans.
"We've waited for Margaritaville to open and actually, we were on a weekend vacation up at the islands and we drove back just for the opening," said Eleanor Sandes of Independence.
The Caribbean-themed bar and restaurant officially opened to the public during Monday's soft opening, and it joins several other up and coming hot spots like Dante's Inferno, Backyard Bocce and Thirsty Dog Brewing company, all in the Flats.
But the draw here?
"Jimmy Buffet! We love his music, excitement, the margaritas. It's a great addition to the waterfront here," said patron, Tom Sandes.
The 14,000 square foot property sat vacant for several months after another country music star's entry into the Flats' multi-million dollar project fell through.
The city had been hoping a popular retail chain, with deep pockets, would eventually fill the space, and Margaritaville came through.
General manager, Joe Jalsevac says, "The last couple of years, the East Bank of the Flats are coming around, you know? We're making it trendy; we're making it fashionable."
The restaurant, which can seat more than 400 people at a time, features food, multiple bars, including on the rooftop, performance stage for live entertainment and retail store.
And those who have visited other Buffet locations throughout the country could not wait to step foot inside this establishment, which is so close to home.
Bridget Doherty said, "I’ve been to one in Orlando and it was awesome, so, I figured downtown Cleveland, beautiful day, gotta do it!"
The official grand opening for Margaritaville is Tuesday, July 11.