Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Hard Rock Café planning a location in MoBay

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM
A generic Hard Rock look in the Caribbean
The signature guitar at a Hard Rock Cafe

Viking Productions, the company that owns two Hard Rock CafÈ locations in the Caribbean (Nassau, The Bahamas, and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands), is planning to open a location in Montego Bay in the near future, says Andre Dixon, chief operating officer.

"Hard Rock International (HRI) identified Montego Bay as a key market for expansion, and we agree with them," says Dixon, noting that they were already perusing some interesting options, but nothing had yet been solidified.

With a total of 198 venues in 63 countries, including 152 cafÈs, 21 hotels and 10 casinos, HRI is one of the most globally recognised companies.

Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues, and an award-winning website.

"With Jamaica's reputation for great live music, we think that having a Hard Rock CafÈ in Montego Bay is the right choice at the right time," says Dixon.

A naturalised Jamaican who has been actively involved in tourism-related businesses for the past 13 years in MoBay, Dixon cited a need for more entertainment options in the Second City.

"It must be mind-boggling to some visitors when they come to a city like this, only to find that there are limited entertainment options relative to the local and hotel population in this city. In my opinion, Montego Bay has to be at the forefront of providing more choices to satisfy persons who visit from across the globe."

He said that he has been spending time retooling the procedures at the other two locations to ensure that the template is set for entering Montego Bay.

"I'm very familiar with the challenges that are associated with operating a business in Jamaica, especially one that has to adhere to international standards. However, I know what it takes to make reasonable accommodations that will make it more palatable for consumers and local purveyors. We want to be certain that we can appeal to patrons who are not only loyal to the Hard Rock CafÈ brand, but those who also want to know more about it."

However, Dixon is even more enthused about The Hard Rock's motto of 'Love All, Serve All', a phrase that he described as simply meaning that the brand respects people from all walks of life and that it values its relationship with the local community.

"That's easy for me to adhere to because it's part of my own value system. Because I've been actively involved in many aspects of serving the needs of the community since I've lived here, I know that Hard Rock CafÈ is the right fit for this city. We're looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with the local citizens and the tourists alike."