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Calgary Margaritaville Deal May Be in Jeopardy

March 16th, 2011

With new owners taking over, plans for a Margaritaville Cafe in Calgary may change:

The Jimmy Buffett restaurant – touted as the marquee attraction in a major expansion slated for Stampede grounds – is facing new hurdles as the company behind the Canadian arm of the chain comes under new ownership.

A Toronto-based company in the process of purchasing Margaritaville Canada will be evaluating the Calgary project once the transaction is complete, said it’s head, Dragan Matovic.

“We are going to be speaking with the various developers there and the folks at the Stampede in the near future once this transaction is hopefully completed, and then we’ll decide accordingly.”

Bryan McFarland, principal of development, is in Calgary this week, meeting with several retailers, including existing tenants and new prospects.

“Whatever happens with Margaritaville, we’ve got a great lineup of tenants to either replace them or supplement them,” he said.

Margaritaville was to be the anchor tenant and include live entertainment and a sports bar.

Matovic said his numbered company is in the final stages of negotiating an agreement to acquire the Margaritaville licence rights for Canada.

“Subsequently, we would start focusing in on several major issues, one of which would be the growth of the company going forward and obviously assessing the merits of the Calgary project,” he said.

It’s too soon to make decisions before the company purchase is complete, he said, adding that the Calgary restaurant “sounds like an interesting opportunity.”

Plans were first announced for a Calgary location in the summer of 2009. An official website is up at www.margaritavillecalgary.ca but there’s no content.

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