To be located within the lower floor of the Criterion Building - part of which was until recently home to Criterion Restaurant - the restaurant is billed as a flagship location for the 185-strong group and is expected to open next year.
The 6,000 sq ft site will be an evolution of those that have come before it with a more modern look, contemporary memorabilia, new menu and the US-owned brand’s largest gift shop yet.
“More than 47 years ago, the first Hard Rock Cafe opened its doors, and a restaurant classic was born on Old Park Lane in London,” says president of café operations for Hard Rock International Stephen K. Judge. “However, all brands, even classic ones, know that to stay relevant they must evolve. Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus will embody a modern evolution of our restaurants and a wonderful representation of the brand’s future.”
“Being from the UK myself, I am pleased that Hard Rock is expanding in London,” says area vice president of café operation for Europe David Pellow. “The addition of Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus further demonstrates Hard Rock’s commitment to the market, and we are thrilled to share our modern vision for the brand with the community and visitors alike.”
The ground floor and basement restaurant is described as state-of-the-art, blending “music, entertainment, iconic merchandise and authentic American food and drink”. It will showcase an open kitchen concept and a new design style that draws inspiration from London, including Victorian glazed tiling and the fabrics and colours of the London Underground.
There will be memorabilia from classic UK artists such as Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and George Michael alongside more contemporary artists such as Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran and Amy Winehouse.
The original Hard Rock Cafe was opened in 1971 by Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. The business has grown to become one of the world’s most recognisable restaurant brands. Now owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock International operates venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos.