Singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, famous for his songs “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger In Paradise,” declared on Saturday that he would consider canceling future concerts in North Carolina over the state’s new bathroom law, which states that public restrooms are to be used according to one’s biological sex.
While Buffett said he’d stick to performing concerts in the Tar Heel state scheduled for later this month, future concerts are up in the air because of the new law.
“[A]s for the future of shows in North Carolina,” Buffett wrote on his blog at Margaritaville.com over the weekend, “it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed.”
“I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year,” Buffett wrote.
To see whether Buffett allows restaurants that license the use of his name to “let stupidity or bigotry” determine their own bathroom policies, The Federalist contacted several restaurants that are part of the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant chain, including every Margaritaville restaurant in Buffett’s home state of Florida. Although Buffett criticized North Carolina’s bathroom law, multiple Margaritaville restaurants also require patrons to use the bathrooms that correspond to their biological sex.
“No,” an employee with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Panama City Beach said when asked if men were allowed to use the women’s bathrooms in the restaurant, “but we make exceptions for parents with small children.”
Would you allow grown men by themselves to use the women’s restroom?
“No,” the employee repeated. “We have single stall bathrooms upstairs if people don’t want to use the main bathrooms.”
A Margaritaville employee at the Destin restaurant told The Federalist the same thing.
“If accompanied by an adult female, absolutely, a boy can use the women’s restroom,” she told The Federalist on Tuesday.
The employee noted, however, that due to the physical location of the bathrooms, it would be difficult for restaurant staff at that particular venue to view or prevent a grown man from using the ladies’ room. The Federalist asked how the restaurant would respond if female patrons complained about men using the women’s restroom. Would Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Destin put a stop to it?
“Absolutely,” she said.
An employee at the Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, responded in the negative when asked if the restaurant allows grown men without small children to use the women’s bathroom.
“No, we do not,” she responded.
The Federalist also contacted Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville locations in Las Vegas, Nashville, and Chicago. The Las Vegas location prohibits men without small children from using the designated women’s multi-stall restrooms, and vice versa, but an employee said it also has a single stall restroom that anyone can use.
“That’s never actually been asked before, so I don’t really have an answer for you,” an employee at the restaurant’s Nashville location responded when asked.
When asked whether a man would be allowed to use the women’s room, an employee for the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Chicago said, “That’s a really strange question.”
The employee noted that the restaurant only had two single stall restrooms available to customers, and that it didn’t matter who used which one as long as it was empty.
Florida restaurant locations in Key West and Orlando did not respond to inquiries prior to publication. None of the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurants contacted by The Federalist responded that it allows men to use multi-stall women’s restrooms, or vice versa.
The first Margaritaville restaurant franchise was launched in 1985 in Key West after a failed attempt to launch a restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama. There are now two dozen locations across the U.S. and Mexico. A Brazilian retail food company purchased all of the Margaritaville retail properties in 2014, but Buffett still licenses the use of his name and those of his songs to the restaurant chains.