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Green Iguana to replace MJ Barleyhoppers in Winthrop Town Center

RIVERVIEW — A new nightspot is coming to town.

The Green Iguana, a popular bar/restaurant chain in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, is opening a location in Winthrop Town Center.

The bar will open by early November, said Alan Fosco, a managing partner with the company that owns the chain.

The Winthrop location, at the southeast corner of Providence Road and Bloomingdale Avenue in Riverview, will be similar to the chain's five other spots in the Tampa Bay area, according to Fosco.

"The menu's the same, the entertainment's the same, the vibe is the same," he said.

That means patrons can order everything from calamari to conch fritters to pizza and nachos in a beach-bar atmosphere. There will be live music and the bar will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. It'll be the company's first outlet in east Hillsborough.

The Green Iguana will occupy the former spot of MJ Barleyhoppers, which closed abruptly last month.

The shopping center was finalizing the Green Iguana's lease this week, according to Winthrop developer John Sullivan, who added that the company fits his vision for the center and adjacent housing development.

"I think they're family-friendly, but they also have sort of an atmosphere of fun that allows for a wide variety of people to enjoy it," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said several other companies, including a Japanese steak house, expressed interest in the site.

Jan Wesner can be contacted at jwesner@sptimes.com or 661-2439.

Green Iguana to replace MJ Barleyhoppers in Winthrop Town Center 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 4:31am]
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