Florida Keys Business
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Rockin' renovations on Duval
Hard Rock Key West kicks things up a notch

The Hard Rock Cafe on Duval Street on June 28 lived up to its middle name and rocked Old Town with an event still being rehashed as one of the best local parties in recent memory.

The grand opening party celebrated the cafe's new Duval Street patio bar, along with the addition of new music memorabilia and sweeping renovations to the historic building at 313 Duval St., the southernmost Hard Rock Cafe in the continental United States.

Live music, drag shows, dancers, drummers and drinkers overflowed from the interior air conditioning and spilled out from all directions onto the new patio bar, as master bartenders and veteran servers embodied the Hard Rock's motto of "Love All Serve All."

General Manager Diane Eliopoulis was still reeling from the party's success three days later, thrilled with the support she's received from the corporation as well as the community.

Mayor Craig Cates signed a proclamation for the event.

"Hard Rock Cafe gives back and Key West appreciates its philanthropic effort," the proclamation reads, touting the cafe's efforts to end hunger, collect toys for needy children and raise money for breast cancer research.

"Hard Rock Cafe has maintained the authentic classic architectural integrity of the original 1889 gingerbread design," the proclamation continues. "In its recent renovations, including a new outside patio bar fronting Duval Street Hard Rock has followed the historical district's guidelines and stayed with the image the Key West community expects and appreciates."

More than 300 people appreciated the property, its improvements -- and its food on June 28, and the outside patio has been filled with locals and visitors every day since its opening.

New memorabilia now adorns a new wedding room available for private occasions. Musical collectibles include Elton John's glasses, Elvis Presley's shirt, and several new items celebrating John Lennon and the Beatles.

The cafe still boasts a shirt from Jimmy Buffett, whose own cafe is just a block down the famed Duval Street.

But none of that matters if the food's no good.

There were no complaints on June 28, and the local cafe's new menu items have been getting rave reviews, which came as no surprise to corporate planners, who surveyed more than 3,000 guests sampling 100 menu items in cafes on four continents.

The result was a collection of old favorites and new winners that are "rockin'" Duval Street.

The newly revamped Hard Rock Key West has proven once again that rock 'n' roll will live forever.

mmiles@keysnews.com

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