San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hard Rock Cafe readies to open first Costa Rica location

Hard Rock Cafe will open its first restaurant in Costa Rica next week at the Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel in Belén, east of the capital, confirmed Gustavo Araya, one of the owners of the local franchise.

The investment to open the first location in the country of the famous themed restaurant chain was $3.2 million, Araya told the daily La Nación.

Its facilities offer capacity for 310 people and a concert area to accommodate up to 800 people. The staff for attending the 2,129-square-meter facilities is 100 workers.

The exact opening date is yet to be defined because local owners are still waiting for some items that have not arrived in the country. “But it definetely will be next week,” Araya said.

In coming months, Hard Rock’s President and CEO Hamish Dodds will attend an opening gala.

Customers also will be able to buy Costa Rica-themed T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise at the Rock Shop, the franchise’s gift shop.

Araya said owners are negotiating at two beach sites in the northwestern province of Guanacaste to open a second location.

The beach-vibe restaurant would be located either in Tamarindo or Playas del Coco. The Guanacaste location will be smaller, with space for some 100 people, Araya said.

Hard Rock Cafe was founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979 the cafe began covering its walls with rock-and-roll memorabilia, a tradition that expanded to other locations in the chain.

In 2007, Hard Rock was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and is headquartered in Orlando. Currently, there are 175 Hard Rock locations in 53 countries.

Contact L. Arias at

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