By: Mary Fran Bontempo

margaritavilleAs the song says, “It’s 5:00 Somewhere.” And in Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, now open in the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, it’s 5:00 all the time.

Margaritaville is a good time place with a good time feel. It’s a Key West vibe on the coast of the Atlantic in New Jersey. The food-casual but tasty. The mood-casual and fun. The crowd-casual and ready to play.

You get the idea. Open since Memorial Day, Margaritaville is attracting crowds looking for the perfect place to compliment a beach day. And it delivers. As did Buffett himself when he played a free concert on the beach last weekend to celebrate the opening of his latest namesake restaurant. It’s loud, it’s crowded and it’s fun. And if it’s too crowded, well….

There are other options, right across the boardwalk, in fact. On a recent visit when the Margaritaville crowds were a bit too much, we walked across the famous A.C. boardwalk to the Landshark Bar and Grille--another casual eatery with the Buffett name attached.

Again, the food, mood and crowd, all fun and festive. Standard but yummy bar favorites satisfy the tummy. The added plus of the Landshark Bar and Grille? A wide open beach view–something in oddly short supply at many shore restaurant spots.

photo(12)And as with most theme-restaurants, there is also shopping, once your hunger pangs have been quelled. Buffett gear, beach gear and play gear–at resort prices, of course, but fun anyway.

Resorts has long had the reputation of the quiet, staid old maid of the Atlantic City scene. But the addition of Margaritaville and the Landshark Bar and Grille definitely up Resorts’ cache as the place to go for the young and fun. (Or for the older and fun–that’s us, NRFGP readers!)

As of last check-in with the staff, reservations were not accepted, so there is a bit of gambling involved in the timing of a visit. Gambling that may just take you to the casino while you wait, which is all part of the plan, of course.

Yet there are worse ways to spend some time and money, as was obvious by the crowds who obviously realized that it was indeed 5:00 somewhere.