If you haven’t heard, our Hard Rock Cafe is changing its location from its current spot at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to a new restaurant and retail space on property. The new cafe is set to open on Wednesday, November 21st and comes with a lot of exciting changes. We caught up with Randy Kaplan, General Manager of Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, to get all the juicy details on what you can expect from the exciting move.
Randy was part of the original team of Hard Rock Cafe at Sawgrass Mills which closed and relocated. Now, 17 years later, he is leading yet another exciting move.
Now that we’ve made an official announcement that we’re relocating, what has been your fondest memory?
What’s interesting is that at the check-in podium of our recently closed Hollywood location, we had a sweater given to us by Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick on display. It always reminded me of when they would perform at a restaurant I worked at in Rockford, Illinois when starting my career. It will now be 1 of 5 pieces moving into the new location. What strikes me is how a piece of them has followed me throughout my career and now into the new location.
What else can you tell us about the 5 memorabilia pieces moving from the old location into the new location?
We’re moving Freddie Mercury’s pants and Prince’s jumpsuit . The cymbals of Iron Maiden’s drummer Nicko McBrain will also be part of the move to the new spot. We got those cymbals when he played at a Hard Rock Live concert here. He came down to the cafe and specifically picked out the spot where he wanted them displayed. B.B. King’s signed guitar — that’s actually a funny story. B.B. King sat in the back and ate here with Al Green. He saw that his guitar was on our wall and wanted to sign it. And of course, the Cheap Trick sweater I mentioned. We have a lot of interesting stories of celebrities that have dined here.
What makes this new Hard Rock Cafe different from other locations?
It’s a prototype for all other locations. It features an open kitchen concept, lounge area, meat grinder room where our burgers will be made fresh throughout the day, and we’ve streamlined the memo for better placement throughout our walls.
Will there be any new additions to the menu?
We’re introducing 3 new flatbreads: avocado smash, BBQ chicken, and 4 cheese. Back by popular demand, we’re bringing back the 8-ounce fillet because our guests loved it and we heard a lot of feedback to bring it back.
Any changes to live entertainment?
We’re taking a hard-core live music approach. It’ll be a mix of local and regional bands and we’re expanding our live music schedule beyond just Friday and Saturday nights.
What are you most excited about for the opening of the new location?
The level of long-term team — especially those who closed the Sawgrass Mills Hard Rock Cafe, came here and are now closing this location for the new cafe. We have a total of 6 team members from the original Sawgrass location, including myself. The level of old school Hard Rock culture that exists in our building is incredible, and I’m excited to bring it to the new location. We believe in two of our mottos – “Love All, Serve All” and “Take Time To Be Kind” . Every day the team lives it and it rolls down to our guests. It’s been 17 years of greatness.