The first Hard Rock Cafe (HRC) opened its doors to the public on June 14, 1971, in London, England. Founded by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, two enterprising and music-loving Americans, HRC was an instant classic, attracting droves of customers with its first-rate, but moderately priced casual American fare, warm service and ever-present rock 'n' roll music and sensibility. Although it was initially decorated with an eye toward eclectic Americana, HRC has ultimately become the world's leading collector and exhibitors of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
Hard Rock began its global expansion in 1982, when Tigrett and Morton agreed to develop their own Hard Rock Cafes in various parts of the globe. Morton opened HRCs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. Tigrett opened in New York, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Paris and Berlin, eventually selling his interest to Mecca Leisure. In 1990, The Rank Group, Plc., a London-based leisure company, acquired Mecca and continued expansion of the concept in their geographic territory. Rank then acquired Hard Rock America from Peter Morton, and Hard Rock Canada from Nick Bitove. With these acquisitions, Rank consolidated worldwide control of the Brand, and with it, one of the most universally recognized trademarks.
With 138 venues in 42 countries, Hard Rock has become a truly global phenomenon. From its launch in London, England, to New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo, and on to such exotic and far-flung locales as Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, Hard Rock offers a special experience to its devoted, ever-expanding clientele. Its unparalleled memorabilia collection, which consists of more than 70,000 pieces that are rotated from restaurant to restaurant, provides the world's most comprehensive "visual history" of rock 'n' roll. These treasures include an awe-inspiring collection of classic guitars and other instruments, posters, costumes, music and lyric sheets, album art, platinum and gold LPs, photos and much more. From Jimi Hendrix's Flying V guitar to John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "Help" (his favorite Beatles' tune) to one of Madonna's now-classic bustiers. And, like the true "living museum" that it is, Hard Rock's memorabilia collection remains very much a work in progress, constantly expanding and deepening as new music-and new music history-is made every day.
Since its inception, Hard Rock has remained extraordinarily faithful to its original intentions. Its rock 'n roll sensibility - an HRC birthright - remains at the very center of all Hard Rock restaurants and all expansion efforts undertaken by Hard Rock Cafe. Classic American food, served up by a capable, caring and attentive wait staff, is still the "order" of the day at HRC. And a never-wavering commitment to wide-ranging altruistic causes -under the banner 'Save The Planet'- has helped make Hard Rock a legitimate cultural force, from coast to coast, continent to continent.
Throughout its history, Hard Rock has been governed by a guiding service philosophy - "Love All - Serve All." Created as a place where all have always been welcome, regardless of age, sex or class; this unconditional welcoming hand, first extended by Messrs. Tigrett and Morton, continues today as integral to Hard Rock's present and future as it was to its beginnings.
Today, Hard Rock Cafe International, with Hard Rock Cafe at its core, is an entertainment and leisure company that continues to successfully expand the Hard Rock Brand through myriad music-related ventures.