VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Closing Time for Margaritaville on Strip

Posted on: March 15, 2024, 10:21h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2024, 02:42h.

Margaritaville on the Las Vegas Strip will close by the end of May. The X/Twitter account “Las Vegas Locally” broke the news this week, and Vital Vegas confirmed that singer Jimmy Buffett’s famed restaurant has lost its lease with Caesars Entertainment.

 Margaritaville on Strip
While some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, a lack of revenue is the most likely culprit, as is the case with almost anything that ever closes in Las Vegas. (Image: Margaritaville Las Vegas)

According to Vital Vegas, Margaritaville represents 32,000 square feet that Caesars can do something much more profitable with than leasing it out to a third party such as Margaritaville.

Typically, the casino company earns many times more profit by opening its own restaurants tied to celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Guy Fieri in name only. (According to Vital Vegas, the celebrity chefs only collect a set amount — typically 5% of gross revenue — to make two appearances  per year and help with marketing by granting interviews.)

Margaritaville, named after Buffett’s biggest hit song, opened at the Flamingo in 2003. It boasted five bars, two patios overlooking the Strip, and a volcano that spilled margaritas into two 300-gallon blenders.

In 2011, Buffett expanded his restaurant and bar to add the first Margaritaville Casino in an adjacent space, though his casino empire was supposed to have launched years earlier with the Margaritaville Casino Resort in Biloxi, Miss. The casino portion of Margaritaville Las Vegas closed in 2018.

Buffett died last September, at age 76, due to complications from skin cancer.

Sammy Hagar, now 76, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he will be on site at Sammy’s Island “a lot more than you think.”

Sammy Steps in

The news of Margaritaville Las Vegas’ demise comes at the same time another multiplatinum musician with a penchant for partying, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, announced that he will open a new bar and restaurant at the Palms.

Sammy’s Island will open May 17 at the SOAK Pool with its own tiki bar and poolside restaurant serving baja breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, chicken tinga nachos, chicken wings, salads, and poke bowls.

Dining Ins & Outs

Michelin-starred chef Rick Bayless has partnered with Caesars Entertainment to bring his Tortazo Mexican restaurant to the Caesars Palace food court. The station is slated to open in late summer.

Michelin-starred chef Rick Bayless. (Image:

Tortazo’s menu includes tacos, guacamole, and, famously, the torta. The Mexican sandwich is a fluffy telera roll brushed with black beans.

“Chef Rick is a powerhouse — bringing a new, eclectic offering to our brand — and is the perfect addition to our roster of culinary superstars that our guests can experience and enjoy,” Caesars Entertainment president Anthony Carano said in a statement.

Lindo Michoacan, the family-owned Mexican eatery that has served Las Vegas for more than 30 years, is expanding to Palace Station this spring. The restaurant replaces Tacos & Tequila, which opened on the property in April 2022 and closed less than a year and a half later. Michoacan opened its first restaurant on East Desert Inn Road in 1990, and it’s still there.

Forte Tapas has shuttered. The local eatery, known for its Eastern European comfort food and cozy feel, opened in 2009 at 4180 S. Rainbow Blvd., #806. Though it survived the pandemic, it struggled  to get back on its feet.

The Southern Nevada Health District closed El Taquero Mucho, at 2025 E. Sahara Ave., on March 6 for 47 demerits. Also recently shuttered by the government agency was Jack Cebu Lechon, at 4777 E. Charleston Blvd., for 23 demerits.