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Published on September 28th, 2010 | by simeon

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Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

It always seemed odd to me that Seattle, which is the birthplace of the grunge music scene and home base for such iconic bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, never had a Hard Rock Café to call its own. What better place to showcase the rich and varied musical history of the area which also gave us Heart and the immortal Jimmi Hendrix? Thankfully the wait is over, as the Hard Rock has at long last come to Seattle to the delight of music fans everywhere with a 14,000 square foot locale that offers great music, drinks and food and tons of memorabilia.

Located near the entrance to the historic Pike Place Market, the Hard Rock Café Seattle offers up not only a very inviting menu of food, drinks, appetizers, and desserts, but blends technology and relics to make a unique and memorable dining experience. Mementos from Hendrix, Nirvana, Elvis, Heart, and many more adorn the walls,educating and amazing guests with the history of the famous (and almost famous) artists with varied connections to our city.

Sandra Bird, the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Hard Rock Café Seattle showed me many of the wonders of the new restaurant, from a gift shop with Seattle-themed souvenirs to the countless memorabilia that adorned the walls. She also shared how the company policy was that whether or not a person was a celebrity, everyone waited in line. Eric Clapton, who favored the original London locale, wanted a way to mark which seat he sat in and since he was not allowed to sign the chair, a compromise was reached that he could hang his guitar over the chair. A couple of days later, a guitar from Pete Townsend of The Who arrived, and the hanging of memorabilia began.

I asked Sandra how the chain has been able to survive not only fickle music tastes but also hard economic times and expand to include hotels and casinos all over the world.It was explained that the Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased the Hard Rock Café and helped fuel their move into hotels and casinos without ever losing the focus of the company and the brand name.

Diners on the main floor, which houses a bar and dining area, can get a similar tour without leaving their table, with the Microsoft Tablet technology that allows you to browse the souvenirs on the wall and get more information about each, as well as view it from numerous angles. Thetablesalso allow diners to play a variety of gamesand the booths have a feature where diners could vote on which music video would be played next.
Venture upstairs to find a bar and performance area where bands ranging from rising talent to established veterans play. While spacious, the area provides an intimate setting for those that like their music up close and personal. I enjoyed the roof area as the open-air lounge offered a fantastic view of Puget Sound and allowed those who want a quiet area to congregate.

While music and memorabilia is a key part of the chain, so is the food and I enjoyed a very large plate of nachos and one of their outstanding smoothies on my two trips. The food is varied and offers everything from burgers and sandwiches to even tastier fare such as smokehouse barbecue. While the food was satisfying and the locale impressive, the Hard Rock is first and foremost about music and that tradition is alive and well in Seattle


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