The day the music died: Detroit's Hard Rock Cafe calls it quits

click to enlarge The day the music died: Detroit's Hard Rock Cafe calls it quits
Susan Montgomery /

It's no secret that Detroit's dining scene has really heated up in recent years, especially downtown, with a seemingly constant stream of announcements for restaurants opening. But it looks like a longtime fixture of the downtown scene is set close next year.

The giant guitar-shaped sign of the Hard Rock Cafe will likely soon get removed from its spot on the side of Dan Gilbert's One Campus Martius Building, as the chain announced on Wednesday it will not renew its lease. The restaurant's last day will be Jan. 26.

The spot opened in 2003, long before Gilbert took over the building. The Detroit closure joins recent Hard Rock Cafe closures across the world, including Toronto, Saint Louis, and Cleveland, perhaps a victim of millennials' alleged and oft-reported distaste for chain restaurants.

It might not be the end of Hard Rock Cafe in Detroit, however. "Since opening the doors of Hard Rock Cafe Detroit in 2003, Hard Rock International has appreciated the opportunity to serve the city's locals and guests," the Orlando-based chain said in a statement. "The brand remains committed to the city and is open to having another location within the market, if the right space can be identified."

No word on what will become of the restaurant's Detroit and Motown-themed memorabilia.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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