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Green Iguana closing location near Raymond James Stadium

About a month after closing one restaurant and opening another, the Green Iguana Bar & Grill is shutting down its Dale Mabry location near Raymond James Stadium.

Green Iguana's parent company, G.I. Entertainment & Restaurant Group, announced Monday that the stadium location at 2520 N Dale Mabry Highway will close Wednesday night. Officials said the closure had nothing to do with the restaurant's performance, and efforts are under way to find a new location.

"This is not our decision. Unfortunately, the property has been sold and the new owners of the property are putting a car dealership in this space," operating partner Alan Fosco said in a statement.

The Tampa-based chain is reassigning the managers and will try to keep as many employees as possible, he said. The entire restaurant, adjacent the Hawaiian Village concert venue and former hotel, will be bulldozed.

Rappers Machine Gun Kelly and Tech N9ne will be Hawaiian Village's final act on Wednesday. Reggae artist Luciano's July 7 show was expected to move to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg.

Jimmy James, who books talent for the Green Iguana, said entertainers at the stadium restaurant will continue to perform at the other locations.

Known for its oversized green iguana perched on a tiki hut-style roof, the Stadium Green Iguana opened about two years ago. Hawaiian Village directly behind it quickly became a popular concert venue, drawing big names like Korn and Anthrax, and popular events like DayGlow parties.

The first Green Iguana opened more than 20 years ago on West Shore Boulevard in Tampa, followed by locations in Brandon, Ybor City and on Anderson Road near the Veterans Expressway.

Home of $5 burgers on Monday and other daily specials, the chain has built a following around its live music and Caribbean-inspired casual atmosphere. Last month, Green Iguana took top honors at the first Burger Showdown at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

Green Iguana closing location near Raymond James Stadium 06/25/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 25, 2012 8:37pm]
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