Much like the Led Zeppelin re-union gig, it is safe to say that the 2013 opening of Glasgow’s Hard Rock Cafe was hotly anticipated. When it launched in the old Athenaeum Theatre, there were people queuing out of the door for its unique mix of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and American-style food. Several months later, at peak times, demand doesn’t seem to have fallen off at all.
Leaving aside the food for the moment, the appeal of the Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow comes down to their trademark enthusiastic service; the buzzy atmosphere – especially when a band is playing the live stage, and the memorabilia. From Angus Young’s schoolboy stage outfit to a snakeskin jacket that used to belong to Keith Richards, the Hard Rock has mementoes from some of the world’s biggest bands. Add in a late night bar with lots of large cocktails; the merchandise-filled Rock Shop plus the venue’s multi-level layout – ideal for private parties – and it’s easy to see why so many diners shout for an encore.
The extensive menus draw heavily on southern American and Tex-Mex favourites. Chicken wings are hickory smoked and come with a choice of Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, or Tangy BBQ sauces. Fajitas are topped with shredded Monterey Jack. Steaks are New York strip style whilst ‘Twisted Mac’, chicken & cheese is a strong contender for Glasgow’s most favourite dish at present. West Tennessee-style ribs are rubbed then basted with BBQ sauce and served with seasoned fries, ranch beans, scratch corn muffin and day pickles or coleslaw.
Still have space for dessert? Think about the hot fudge brownie, the strawberry cheesecake bite or the fresh apple cobbler. Portions are generous. Naturally, there is also a children’s menu for kids who like to chow down on a BBQ drumstick while rocking out.
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, 179 Buchanan St, Glasgow, G1 2JZ