Sept. 30 will be the day the music died at the Hard Rock Café. A PR person representing Hard Rock International would not comment beyond a prepared statement: “We have run a successful business in Minneapolis, but the current site has created challenges that prevent us from continuing to operate at this location.”
No word yet if that bit of vagueness is referring to the luxury casino proposed by Block E’s owners.
The Hard Rock Café opened in 2002, just as Block E was getting off the ground. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant was decked out with rock memorabilia from the likes of Madonna, Tina Turner and hometown hero, Prince.
Almost a decade later, it’s one of the last anchor tenants left, with Borders and GameWorks long gone. The recent exodus of restaurants includes Hooters, Applebee’s and Panchero's. In April, a Panchero’s spokesman said the Mexican grill was forced out of its lease, something Block E’s owner denied.
Alatus LLC bought the downtown development in 2010 for $14 million and assumption of $28.5 million in tax increment finance repayments. Alatus hopes to transform the site into a $200 million-plus Bellagio-style casino.
(Photo by Tom Wallace)