Fans flock to Jimmy Buffett’s eateries to toast the Mayor of Margaritaville


LOS ANGELES — The death of music and lifestyle icon Jimmy Buffett was not met with displays of dark clothing, weeping, or other elements of traditional mourning.

Of course it wasn’t.

Fans memorialized the 76-year-old purveyor of laidback, beachside rock the proper way, by flocking to the Mayor of Margaritaville’s eateries and raising their glasses.

Lee Jameson said she headed to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles County as soon as she heard on Saturday.

“We woke up, we heard the news, immediately got in the car, and headed straight to Margaritaville right when it opened,” she said at the restaurant named for Buffett’s hit song.

“It’s 11 a.m. here, but it’s five o’clock somewhere,” she added in a reference to the duet Buffett recorded with singer Alan Jackson.

Image: Jimmy Buffet
Jimmy Buffett performs at the TODAY Show, July 29, 2016Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Buffett died peacefully Friday night, according to a statement posted to his website. The cause of death was not immediately released. He was fighting cancer when he died, two sources familiar told NBC News.

Nathan Kniffen explained how Parrotheads, the term that describes Buffett’s fans, could memorialize the musician, who created an alternative outlook for millions, so casually.

“I do not think he’d want people mourning him, he’d want everyone to just kind of come out and just like live a life that he lived and just celebrate life for what it is,” she said at the Universal CityWalk restaurant, one of nearly 30 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Emma Hamrick said she and Kniffen attended one of Buffett’s last shows at the location.

“Looking back on it now, it’s really an incredible moment we’re going to cherish for the rest of our lives,” Hamrick said.

Patricia Lopez was one of many fans gathering at a Margaritaville Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, the singer’s home state.

“All the Parrotheads today are hurting,” she told NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach.

Back at CityWalk, Buffett was honored by one of multiple toasts to his life and accomplishments.

“Jimmy Buffett was not just an artist he was a curator of vibes,” the toast’s organizer said. “It is 5 o’clock somewhere, everyone put their fins up and toast to the king.”


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