Jimmy Buffett's popular Margaritaville brand is bringing another restaurant concept to Myrtle Beach, with plans to build a Land Shark Bar & Grille on the oceanfront.
Land Shark, Margaritaville's brewing company that makes Land Shark Lager known for its blue and yellow fin-wave logo, plans to open in May as part of the SkyWheel attraction, a nearly 200-foot-high Ferris wheel that is under construction beside Plyler Park.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will have mostly outdoor seating, said David Busker, president of Koch Development Co., which will operate the SkyWheel and is developing it along with Pacific Development. Busker declined to talk about the restaurant's name and concept, but said Koch wanted to partner with anestablished operator to make the most of the restaurant's good location on the oceanfront.
Officials are staying tight-lipped about the restaurant. Al Mers, a partner in Pacific Development, said Wednesday that he couldn't comment about the restaurant until Dec. 15. The Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board will likely consider the restaurant's plan for signs on and around the restaurant building on Dec. 16.
Officials representing Buffett and the Margaritaville brand could not be reached Wednesday.
There's a Land Shark Landing restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., beside the Margaritaville Beach Hotel, that serves items such as fish tacos, nachos and, of course, a Cheeseburger in Paradise fixed the way Buffett describes in the song by the same name. It's unclear whether the Land Shark Bar & Grille in Myrtle Beach will serve similar food.
The restaurant will be part of the $12 million to $15 million SkyWheel complex emerging on the oceanfront. Crews are installing the 106 pilings that will support the nearly 200-foot-high Ferris wheel, which will have 42 glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled gondolas that plan to operate year-round.
The Land Shark restaurant will be a different kind of venue for downtown Myrtle Beach that will lure Buffett's followers who are likely to check out downtown's other offerings after stopping by the new restaurant, said Dave Sebok, executive director of Myrtle Beach's Downtown Redevelopment Corp.
"It will offer something that is obviously new and has a different theme to it than what we have on the oceanfront now," he said. "It's a name that is nationally and internationally known so to me it's likely to be able to attract customers and business downtown."
Buffett's business ventures have fit well in Myrtle Beach. Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant at Broadway at the Beach opened six years ago. There's also a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant on the north end of Myrtle Beach, which is owned by Paradise Restaurant Group with a license from Buffett.
The power of the Buffett brand - and its national publicity - will be a plus for downtown Myrtle Beach, Sebok said.
"I think it is a great addition to downtown," he said. "It will bring in a national company that will promote that location and the downtown."
The wheel and restaurant complex will be the second major addition to Myrtle Beach's oceanfront in two years. Earlier this year, the $6 million, 1.1-mile boardwalk debuted.
Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296.