Hulk Hogan, seen here in 2009, is opening a new restaurant in Tampa this month.(Photo: Jeff Christensen, AP)
Having personally seen Hulk Hogan getting in and out of limousines
multiple times on Dale Mabry Highway, take this writer's word that the
Hulkster is as much of a Tampa fixture as strip clubs and Busch Gardens.
Now, the sort-of retired professional wrestling is opening a restaurant on Florida's gulf coast.
20,000-square-foot, waterfront "Hogan's Beach" is set to open New
Year's Eve on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, which heads towards
"It's going to be Jimmy Buffet's [Margaritaville] times 10; Hooters times 10," Hogan told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's a logical extension of the Hogan brand, with my image and likeness.
"In 36 years I've become so tangible to the public, and not just Americans. We have a chance to have an international draw."
This isn't Hulk's first foray into the restaurant business, once opening a short-lived joint called "Pasta Mania" in Minnesota's Mall of America.
The new restaurant will have a "mechanical shark ride," which sounds like a mechanical bull, but you know, a shark.
To go along with the beach theme, there's volleyball courts, fire pits, cabanas, tiki huts and cabanas.
Asked by the Times about his role with the restaurant, Hogan cited his fictional experience.
"I see myself almost like a general manager, creatively," Hogan said. "I play a fake general manager on Impact Wrestling. But this is for real."
naturally, Hogan wants to turn his new restaurant into another reality
show, with his family having already been featured in VH1's Hogan Knows Best.
"I just went out to Los Angeles to pitch Hogan's Beach," Hogan told the Times. "CMT is very interested. It would be like a controlled sound stage, with the pool, bar, volleyball and live music."
What was his pitch for the show?
"It's Bay Watch, Muscle Beach and Cheers all in one."