Jul 10 2008

Top 5 Locations for Ramsay’s Melbourne Restaurant. #4 Hard Rock Cafe


Up at the ‘Paris’ end of town, Bourke Streets vibrant pre-theatre strip used to be bookended at number 1 by The Hard Rock Cafe, replete with (mostly, if not completely) tacky Americana including a sign out front advising all nuclear weapons to be left outside.  Inside it served typical American mass-consumer fare : over-sized, under-seasoned and over-here!  The Hard Rock Cafe played out rather like a Burger King to TGI Friday’s McDonald’s.

Hard Rock Cafe - Entrance

But its not what used to be located there, it’s the venue we’re interested in! 

The Hard Rock closed last year and its Windsor Hotel owners stripped it down and left it with bare bones fittings to be used as a corporate conference venue.  Presumably they figured they could either make more money this way (debatable) or possible they just couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of finding a new tenant to take over this admittedly large venue and do it justice.  After all their core business is hotels, not a property landlord.  A conference venue is much easier to maintain and look after even if it doesn’t create the same revenue.

The advantage of setting the Ramsay restaurant here is not only is it a good size, but restoring it to its previous function of a restaurant wouldn’t be that complicated.  It represents another blank canvas waiting to be painted on.  There’s nothing there in the way of building that would need taking out. 

And I have I mentioned the location?  It’s higher profile than Oliver’s Fifteen, in an already successful strip of similar good quality restaurants and cafes.  From the European round the corner all the way down Bourke pretty much to Exhibition St the venues are all good and another can only add to the areas reputation – and not only as a pre-theatre strip!

Anyway, The Windsor’s owners should think again – the opportunity to host a prestigious venue like a Ramsay restaurant isn’t going to come up every day, and the prestige and publicity can only be a good thing.  Get creative guys – visitors to Melbourne could even be tempted to staying at the Windsor if there was a cross package with a restaurant of this profile affiliated with it!


Pros : Well established area in the CBD, large size, blank canvas of the current conference room.

Cons : Convincing the hotel to restore it to its previous use?


4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Top 5 Locations for Ramsay’s Melbourne Restaurant. #4 Hard Rock Cafe”

  1. jayon 14 Jul 2008 at 4:44 am

    I think you could be on to something here, this is ahigh profile site and yes it would trump jamnie olivers 15 in Melbourne. I suppose only time will tell.

  2. angela fewsteron 10 Jul 2009 at 1:19 am

    Don’t be too quick to judge the hard rock. it was a rad place. you are tacky.

  3. Justin Sweeneyon 10 Jul 2009 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for your comment, as we said it was a place for a time in Melbourne, but it also would make a great venue for a Gordon Ramsay signature restaurant. But we do appreciate your comment and enjoy all others as well.
    All the best jsweeney Editor

  4. Jeffon 10 Jul 2009 at 11:44 am

    On contraire Angela, Hard Rock was cheesy, pretentious with bland oversized food I wouldn’t feed to my kids. There are plenty of nearby venues to Hard Rock where you can get good quality food for the same prize, without the cheesiness. Places that are still there compared to the failure that was the Hard Rock.

    And if you prefer the sort of bland TGI style food and jazz of Hard Rock then may I suggest TGI’s itself or perhaps one of the theatre restaurants?


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