For hungry music fans, there might be no greater attraction than the Hard Rock Cafe – New York City. Its impressive treasure trove of rock 'n' roll memorabilia delights and astounds at every turn – the place is so chock-full of rock-related objects that you can easily overlook something as mind-blowing as the original doors from Abbey Road studios or Jimi Hendrix's purple velvet suit.
The bustling restaurant, a hugely popular destination for travelers from all over the world, has multiple seating areas, an enthusiastic staff and an extensive menu of bar-food favorites. Even if you're not looking for a meal, the street-level Rock Shop carries all your necessary rock 'n' roll accoutrements, from cool sunglasses and hats to chunky jewelry and the famed logo-laden T-shirts and hoodies.
If you can't score a table right away, the waiting area alone is worth the trip. The space features a 20-foot interactive wall that digitally details the incredible collection of music memorabilia throughout the venue. This is where you'll find the Beatles' collarless suits (all four of them!), a contract signed by Frank Sinatra and other groovy Rat Pack posters, plus a display case dedicated to legendary downtown club CBGB, featuring a portion of the wall – encrusted with punk stickers and graffiti scrawl – that was taken straight from the Bowery when the club shuttered in 2006. Photo ops abound: Hard Rock staffers will capture you in your best rock 'n' roll stance, axe and all, in front of the sea of guitars that line the back wall.
Other memorabilia highlights include Kurt Cobain's smashed guitar from the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, a fabulous gold-satin suit worn by James Brown at the Apollo in 1964 and handwritten notes from Jerry Garcia and John Lennon.
Good for kids?
Radio-friendly youngsters will dig their time at Hard Rock Cafe; there's a kids menu, a hits-heavy soundtrack and plenty to look at on the walls. Though the collection concentrates primarily on classic rock (hey, everyone needs a Beatles and Stones formal education), cool memorabilia from lots of younger stars (Adam Levine from The Voice
, Gwen Stefani) can be found throughout the massive space.
Did You Know?
The New York location of the Hard Rock franchise opened in 2005 and is housed in the historic Paramount Theater, smack dab in the middle of Times Square. The building boasts its own fascinating musical legacy: originally a movie house that opened in 1926, the theater presented live music throughout the '30s and '40s, and even hosted the premiere of Elvis Presley's first film, Love Me Tender
, in 1956. One of Elvis's tuxedos is showcased here, along with photos from the night of the premiere.
Hard Rock Cafe Hours and Location Information