4

Hard Rock Cafe -- no, not that Hard Rock -- looking for a new proprietor

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Get a piece of the rock -- the original Hard Rock Cafe, that is. The town of Empire, which owns the century-old building in which the restaurant is located (and whose offices are right upstairs) is looking for a new party to run the place. The Hard Rock's last proprietor , who got the contract in 2011, is moving on, and the town is looking for an interested party to take over the lease as of September 1.

That lease comes with a lot of history: The restaurant got its start in the '30s, serving food to hard-rock miners and other mountain folk at least forty years before the Hard Rock chain got its start in 1971. And there's absolutely no connection between this restaurant and the Hard Rock Cafe down on the 16th Street Mall -- except a lawsuit that's also now a part of history.

As part of that suit's resolution, the town of Empire is not allowed to advertise the eatery outside of Colorado. But that's not a major problem, since most of the clientele consists of locals and travelers headed up Highway 40 from I-70 -- between 2.7 and 3 million cars a year, according to mayor Wendy Koch.

"We are the original Hard Rock Cafe," she points out. And the place comes not just with that admirable customer base, but an actual spot on the National Historic Register, as well as a lovely sun deck overlooking the valley....and all those cars that could be carrying patrons your way.

Interested in getting a piece of the rock? Contact Empire town clerk Jennifer Cade at 303-569-2978 between 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.


Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.