Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Hard Rock Cafe opens in the Second City

Published:Sunday | June 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Karen Rhone (left) and Paulette Chen are all smile for our lens.
From left: Menseita Ottey, Omar Robinson, and Daliah Spence.
From left: Garth Ramzie director, Hah-R-Mony, with with Kerry Thomas of Rokeef, and Ochimin Castillo, director of Hah-R-Mony.
From left: Tom Tyler (co-chairman of CPJ) poses with Xavier Martinez and Mark Hart, executive chairman of CPJ.
From left- Daniel Schweizer poses with wife Judith.
Winston Prendergast poses with Sandrene Weichenberger.
Simone Skinner and David Shields general manager of Island Routes out to enjoy the grand opening of Hard Rock Cafe.
Maurice McCurdy (left) of the Cornwall Bar Association and owner of Blue Diamond Mall Lachu Ramchandani.
Kadiann Pinnock and Ricky Purkis enjoying last Saturday's grand opening of Hard Rock Cafe.
Smashing a guitar on stage are from left (front row) Andre Dixon, Emilio Huhn and Deryk Meany. Partially hidden at back from left: Paul Zar


In the same manner that a boat owner christens a new boat by smashing a bottle of champagne against it, Hard Rock Cafe employs the guitar smash to launch the opening of each new location.  

Saturday night (May 27), was no different. Just like rock stars who have traditionally smashed guitars onstage at the end of a successful concert, for Hard Rock Cafe Montego Bay, it was the same thing.

“It was natural for Hard Rock Cafe to emulate the practice since its history is connected to rock legends and guitars,” said director of operations, Andre Dixon, who was joined on stage by: Paul Zar, partner, Viking Productions; Tom Perez, vice-president, of franchise operations for the Americas Division, Hard Rock International; Hugh Logan, vice-president, sales and marketing, Caribbean Producers of the Jamaica; Alyssa Moo Young, brand manager, Pepsi; Suwannee Stewart, brand manager, Heineken; and Fausto Solano, general manager, Hard Rock Cafe Montego Bay for the historic smashing.

Six months after welcoming its first guests, the place known for great food and fantastic music, showed exactly what it was made of last weekend, hosting what its Jamaica team tagged, a “once-in-a-lifetime historic opening”.

Not only was Montego Bay’s A-listers out in their numbers to witness the grand affair, but fans from all over the world journeyed to Montego Freeport to join in the special occasion.

Outlook caught up with Rosendo Gonzalez, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, and who was making his 250th visit to Hard Rock and attending his 15th opening. 

Gonzalez said the last opening he attended was in Costa Rica, and as a collector he owns more than 4,000 pins. 

“Before Hard Rock, vacation had no meaning for me. I now use openings as my vacation time,” he said, adding that this was one of the best ways to see the world. 

“If there are four openings for the year, I will be there. If there are 20, I will be there,” he said.