Downtown News

Dallas location of iconic Hard Rock Cafe is set to pull the plug

Dallas location of iconic Hard Rock Cafe is set to pull the plug

Hard Rock Cafe Dallas
The first location in Dallas opened on McKinney Avenue in 1986. Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe Dallas

The Dallas location of the Hard Rock Cafe is closing, having reached the end of its 10-year lease.

According to WFAA, the restaurant-bar located in Victory Park will close on July 31. A representative from the restaurant calls the closure "only temporary," and a statement from Hard Rock International also suggests that the venue could return.

"Since opening the doors of Hard Rock Cafe Dallas in 2009, Hard Rock International has enjoyed serving the Dallas community and playing a role in the city’s dining culture," the statement says. "In July 2019, the lease for Hard Rock Cafe Dallas, located on North Houston Street, will expire. The location will close on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, as a result. The brand remains committed to the city and is open to having another location within the market, if the right space can be identified."

First founded in 1971, Hard Rock Cafe began expansion in 1982, at the height of the "theme restaurants" trend. In addition to its role as a bar with burgers and other American food, Hard Rock's hook is its music memorabilia, with vintage guitars, Madonna bustiers, and other gear from musicians on display.

The first location in Dallas opened on McKinney Avenue in 1986 as one of the first destinations in Uptown Dallas, and remained popular through the '90s.

The company was acquired in 2006 by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who relocated it to its current location in the Southern end of Victory Park in July 2009.

The original structure on McKinney Avenue was a former church that became a conservation cause celebre, after a developer renovated the property but couldn't find a buyer who would keep intact. It was sold in 2013 and became the One Dallas building.

Whatever cachet the Dallas location had fizzled a bit after its move to Victory Park, although it still does a busy Sunday brunch and OK business as a tourist spot, given its location near the West End and American Airlines Center.

A spokesperson says that its collection of memorabilia will go back to Hard Rock's memorabilia warehouse at its headquarters in Florida, and will be redistributed to other cafes around the world.

Seize your chance for a last longing gaze at the red bandana doo-rag once worn by Willie Nelson; the tambourine hoisted ever so briefly by Selena; the framed cover of Rolling Stone magazine autographed by Slash; the silver stamped steel flying-V guitar that belonged to Dimebag Darrell; and so much more.

The Hard Rock chain recently closed a location in Indianapolis, and has sold its Las Vegas hotel to Virgin. But it's still regularly turning out new menu offerings, including the addition of a vegan burger at all of its locations in Europe and is also building the world's first guitar-shaped hotel in Hollywood, Florida.