The Green Iguana at 8790 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg closed its doors on Monday. According to marketing director Voncile Anderson, parent company G.I. Entertainment & Restaurant decided not to renew its lease on this waterside location. Meanwhile, its newest location at Tampa International Airport held a soft opening on May 1, with an official ribbon-cutting scheduled for May 30.
The first Green Iguana opened in the Westshore area of Tampa, followed by locations in Brandon, on Dale Mabry near Raymond James Stadium, in North Tampa and in Ybor City. The Ybor City location is a franchise owned by Jason Fernandez (who also owns Bernini, Hot Willy's and the new Carne Chophouse, all in Ybor City). In addition, G.I. Entertainment & Restaurant owns Hula Bay Club and the Retreat, both in Tampa.
While St. Petersburg revelers may mourn the passing of the waterside nightspot, Green Iguana fans have other things to crow about: In Curtis Hixon Park on Friday night, Green Iguana's hamburgers took top honors at the first Burger Showdown 2012. The winning burger, a Southern-inspired creation called the "Ala damm Bama Bourbon BBQ Burger," features a half pound of beef topped with pulled pork, smoked cheese, fried sweet potato and a tempura-fried pickle. It will be available at all locations for the next month.
Laura Reiley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2293.