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Hard Rock Café reopens in P.R. after nearly 10-year absence

The Hard Rock Café franchise has returned to Puerto Rico a decade after it shuttered its restaurant in Old San Juan, now reopening in the Condado area following a $6 million investment.

The new restaurant is a partnership between Hard Rock International and local HRC Caribbean franchise, LLC.

“Reopening in San Juan has been a priority for Hard Rock International since the closure of our original location 10 years ago,” said Aníbal Fernández, vice president of franchise operations for Hard Rock Cafe International.

The new venue is located where the elegant Chart House once stood, across the street from the San Juan Marriott & Stellaris Casino hotel. The two-story, 42,000 square-foot restaurant has a capacity for 300 patrons, and features a bar, a terrace, a live entertainment space for the island’s music scene, and the Rock Shop.

The Hard Rock Café will generate 190 new jobs in the area, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said during the opening ceremony.

“We are pleased that Hard Rock Café returns to the island to continue contributing to economic development,” he said. “This business is one of broad appeal to both tourists and the general public. We’re confident that its establishment in Puerto Rico will also provide an additional space for those who enjoy the local music scene.”

The Hard Rock Café in the Condado area has been in the works since 2013, as this media outlet reported. In an interview that year, the opening date was pegged at December 2014.

The original Hard Rock Café location in San Juan closed in April 2011, following two decades of presence. Plans to relocated started back then, when Hard Rock International executives confirmed their intentions to return.

Among the collectibles that adorn the walls of the Hard Rock Café San Juan are items representing legendary and contemporary musicians including Carlos Santana, Jennifer López, Ricky Martin, and Wisin y Yandel, among others.

The new restaurant also features a massive piece of art by Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell — a flag of Puerto Rico made from recycled aluminum that hangs right behind the stage.

The Rock Shop will sell rock and roll articles and Hard Rock Café collectible merchandise, including those exclusive to the San Juan location.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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