Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hard Rock Cafe "Returns" to Downtown

Militant Angeleno isn't about boosterism as it is about education. Los Angeles is one of the most misunderstood cities in the world, and sadly its own inhabitants partake in that misunderstanding. A great deal of that has to do with the fact that this city never gets the credit it deserves.

It all started while perusing Chowhound Los Angeles. In between posts dealing with Pinkberry opening announcements and whiny NY transplants complaining how __(insert food here)__ isn't nearly as good as back home and how one can never find a decent [said food] "out heah," I stumbled on a post regarding the whereabouts of the iconic Hard Rock Cafe at the Beverly Center.

Unbeknownst to this Militant Angeleno, who rarely ventures west of La Cienega, the Hard Rock Cafe on Beverly and San Vicente has been closed since January. "Oh noes!" I said to myself, "Where might I find an overpriced $10 hamburger in this town in the presence of a Fender Telecaster guitar signed by Tom Petty himself?" Of course, the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Citywalk is still going strong, and yes, the irony of a gigantic Fender guitar within shouting distance of the Gibson Ampitheatre is not lost on me.

Anyway, thanks to the investigative handiwork of one Chowhounder named "Muskrat,"
so goes the post:

"At the risk of being obvious, I just called the Universal City Hard Rock.

Beverly Center is closed.

The person I spoke to says she's heard that two new L.A. locations are in the works: one near Staples Center, and one on the west side."

O RLY? Staples Center, eh?

Though the Hard Rock corporation credits its beginnings in London, England, its namesake was inspired by an eatery in Downtown Los Angeles which was referenced in the Doors 1970 album, Morrison Hotel. According to this site, the original Hard Rock Cafe was located on 300 E. Fifth Street (between Main and Los Angeles streets).

Moving the Los Angeles location of an iconic international establishment (the Bev Center location was the first HRC in the United States) from the (near) Westside to Downtown speaks volumes about the changing urban perspective of Los Angeles. If you still think Los Angeles "lacks a center," you need a serious update.

One can assume the future Downtown location would be located at or near the new L.A. Live! complex sprouting from the ground on Fig between Olympic and Chick Hearn Court. Hopefully the sunken convertible will find a new home there. So yes, you can once again has cheeseburger in Los Angeles. For $10.


max, i guess said...

Is that true? I think that Morrison Hotel is more around 12th/Flower area. The sign was still there as of 3 months ago.

Militant Angeleno said...

max, i guess - I'm certain that the Morrison Hotel and the original Hard Rock Cafe are different locations, so the hotel may very well be on 12/th/Flower as you said, but the cafe was somewhere else Downtown.

Anonymous said...

Morrison Hotel is on the corner of Hope & Pico. Still fully in would be the perfect location for the new Hard Rock, although the Hard Rock Cafe on the back of the Album cover was located at 300 E. 5th Street, which is still a pretty nasty area, but changing quickly.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the HRC image.

Anonymous said...

ok, let's try again

NicktheHammer said...

Just drove by the 'site' of the old Hard Rock today. It's been gone awhile- fenced off area with nothing behind it. Pity. Funny thing is most of the older buildings have survived- why demolish the Hard Rock? Lovely area to this day...not.

This should enrage all of us Angelenos: there is a Vegas development coming up called 'Miracle Mile.'' First the rubes call their main drag 'The Strip'' after the original Sunset Strip. Now they rip off Wilshire Blvd and OUR MM. I sent a letter bitching about it to their press office and they thought my rant was 'funny.' When I responded that I was dead serious about them ripping us off and NOT attributing their theft I got no response.

What's next? Gower Gulch Casino? Farmers' Market Shoppee?

NicktheHammer said...

I stand corrected- the building IS still there, only now it houses or something like that.

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