Hard Rock Cafe is reopening at its original location in George Town in mid-December under new management. The restaurant closed down last year following legal disputes between the U.S. parent company and the previous owners.
Anders Vestergaard is one of the new franchise owners. He also owns distributing company Viking Productions in Jamaica, as well as another Hard Rock Cafe in Nassau, Bahamas.
Tim Langfitt, the former general manager of Lone Star restaurant on Seven Mile Beach, will head up management at Cayman’s new Hard Rock Cafe.
“The restaurant is in the process of being completely remodeled, the chairs, tables, and bars are all going to be redone into a more modern and Cayman motif,” said Mr. Langfitt.
The redesign of the restaurant will include a mixture of classic Hard Rock memorabilia and local flavor, he said.
“We’re going to have 26 back-lit Stingray guitars going up the stairs to the café. It will be much more Caymanianized [than the previous establishment] in terms of the style, we’re going to have Cayman lemonade, Black Beard bloody marys, and a speciality margarita drink that we make,” said Mr. Langfitt.
Hard Rock Cafe owners are hosting a job fair on Tuesday and Wednesday next week at the Westin hotel to fill a plethora of jobs at the restaurant and bar.
“We would like to hire 40 to 50 people initially maybe even more. We would like to hire locals, I’m married to a Caymanian, so whatever we can do to help the locals out…,” said Mr. Langfitt.
The positions advertised include: kitchen staff, bartenders, servers, bussers, hosts and retail staff.
Mr. Langfitt said he hopes that reopening the franchise will help boost tourism in the Cayman Islands.
“We’re going to leverage the increase in the day visitors coming from the cruise ships, which is double digits this year, we’ll be able to take advantage of that opportunity. We’re also going to work with the hotels and condos to make sure the guests know Hard Rock is not just for the cruise ship passengers,” he said.
The restaurant isn’t just for tourists though, said Mr. Langfitt. “We are going to try and get more of that local business, when there is not any cruise ships in town, we’ll have all kinds of great local specials and happy hours.”
He said once the restaurant opens in mid-December, staff will be expected to work throughout the holidays. “We will be open Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,” said Mr. Langfitt.
The previous Hard Rock franchise holder was Kevin Doyle, who ran into litigation problems with the parent company. As a result, the bar closed its doors in Oct. 2013 with the loss of around 20 jobs.
“Hard Rock is all about giving authentic experiences that rock to every one of our guests,” said Mr. Langfitt.