Like a 20-story ferris wheel towering over Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta's real estate rumor mill is constantly turning — and here's an unconfirmed bit of gossip about SkyView Atlanta: The operators of downtown's favorite new tourist attraction (okay, maybe like, third favorite) could be planning to bring a Margaritaville restaurant to the empty parking lot next door. "They operate Margaritavilles around the country and with the success of the Ferris wheel, they want to capitalize on the interest in the area," one tipster tells Curbed Atlanta. "Not sure on timing."
To be clear, none of that is confirmed, though efforts were made to make it so. Permits and property records don't foretell any upcoming moves, and emails to several people connected with SkyView — which is operated by St. Louis-based Pacific Development LLC — went unanswered this week. That said, the idea of SkyView teaming up with Margaritaville has some factual basis. In a 2011, press release, representatives from SkyWheel and Margaritaville announced their plans to open together the LandShark Bar & Grill and LandShark Surf Shack in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (LandShark Lager is the name of Jimmy Buffett's beer company). As far as we can tell, the restaurant opened in the shadow of Myrtle Beach's own Ferris wheel and remains active today.
As much as most intowners would probably prefer something a little more … original in this spot, it's painful to say that a Margaritaville or LandShark restaurant would likely do strong business, with the herds of tourists in this section of downtown for the aquarium, the park, CNN Center, Waffle House, etc. Groups of limo-renting suburban prom couples would probably be customers as well.
If, you know, there's any truth to the rumors.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep