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The Hard Rock Café Newcastle is the perfect place for a unique night out. Eat American inspired food in historic surroundings whilst discovering Geordie inspired rock memorabilia.
The first-ever Hard Rock Café in the North East has officially opened its doors in Newcastle. It brings a vibrant restaurant bar, framed rock memorabilia and a Rock shop selling Newcastle-themed Hard Rock café merchandise into the centre of Newcastle’s historic quayside.
If you are familiar with the quayside you will be familiar with Newcastle’s guildhall. The Grade I listed building has undergone a loving transformation bringing a unique and special dining experience to Newcastle. The American inspired food menu brings world-famous burgers, steaks, sharing platters and chicken dishes as well as a range of boozy milkshakes and signature cocktails.
The Hard Rock Café is a fitting addition to Newcastle, which has a long list of famous rock bands. Newcastle is well known for its rock scene over the years. Many of you will remember the Mayfair, which was a popular rock venue. On the quayside, not far from the Guildhall, the Cooperage pub would hold many a rock night.
Inside Newcastle’s Hard Rock Cafe
The guildhall, Newcastle is an important historic building that has been part of the history of Newcastle since 1658. It was the meeting place of the Newcastle town council until 1863. The courts of assize also met in the building and the historic town courts are still on the first floor today.
The hard rock café Newcastle breathes new life into the Guildhall, which has been empty for years. The building renovation is tasteful. It has a bright modern feel whilst still retaining the historic vibe. The bar and restaurant spread over two floors and can seat 180 people. The raised mezzanine floor has a view over the River Tyne. Rock memorabilia is on display in various places around the building, some obvious some hidden.
The restaurant is covid-secure, with 1m spacing between the tables and hand sanitizer is discreetly positioned at regular intervals. The staff all wear tasteful Hard Rock Café facemasks, which are available to buy in the rock shop. You can book a table online
The Hard Rock Café
The hard rock café began in Mayfair in London in 1971 and has now expanded to 240 venues worldwide in over 70 countries. Many fans travel to visit the restaurants in different countries, with collecting merchandise from the different locations being popular.
The tradition of displaying rock memorabilia in the hard rock café began in the London restaurant. Eric Clapton would visit regularly and he made a gift of one of his guitars. Now they have a collection of over 83,000 pieces in storage and restaurants around the world. Many pieces with a Newcastle theme grace the walls of the Hard Rock Café Newcastle.
Currently the Hard Rock Café will feature acoustic sets to entertain you whilst you eat with plans for more live music and djs as covid restrictions ease.
The Hard Rock Cafe’s 50th birthday is fast approaching, so expect celebrations in June.
On the menu are the Hard Rock Cafe’s legendary burgers. I remember visiting the Hard Rock Café in San Francisco as a child and being wowed by the burgers on offer. All these years on the wow factor still continues, with burgers firmly on the menu. As a tribute to Newcastle, there is a special Whey Aye burger, (£14.50) which is the North East special. Named by locals the black and white burger features Northumberland cheese, Newcy Brown onion compote with cheddar cheese, and pease pudding.
As well as burgers there is plenty more to choose from with starters and sharable platters including sliders, wings and nachos. There are a range of sandwich and salad options. The steak salad (£14.75) is gorgeous. The Speciality Entrees include steaks, ribs fajitas and chicken choices so there is something for everyone.
Drinks options include beer, wine, signature cocktails and boozy milkshakes along with a range of alcohol free options.
Memorabilia is a big part of the Hard Rock Cafe and the Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle is no exception. Wherever you look something new catches your eye. I really like the fact that a lot of the memorabilia has been chosen for its links with Newcastle and Newcastle bands. Notably, these include The Animals, The Shadows, ACDC, Brian Ferry, and Roxy Music.
The Animals are a Newcastle band from the early 1960s, famous for the song “House of the Rising Sun”. Brian Johnson is a Geordie lad and the singer from ACDC. Hank Marvin is also from Newcastle and his fellow Shadows band member Bruce Welch is from Chester Le Street.
On the main wall you will see a jacket belonging to Sting, another North East legend, as well as a signed guitar. He wore the jacket at the Hollywood Bowl in 1994. Sting was born in Wallsend and worked as a teacher in Cramlington before becoming famous with The Police.
Other items on display are the love letter that Amy Winehouse wrote to her husband Blake Fielder-Civil which is one of only a handful of pieces that were made available after her death. You will also see pieces from legends like Tina Turner and Mark Knopfler, Mitch Mitchell, Jake E Lee, Paul Oakenfold, Slash and Eddie Van Halen.
It is like being in a museum of rock history and worth taking the time to view the exhibits before leaving.
The Rock Shop
The Rock Shop is a gift shop inside the Hard Rock Cafe which sells a range of mechandise from t-shirts, to hoodies to badges. I love the white Newcastle hard rock cafe t-shirt. It has a simple logo on the front, but the back features the iconic quayside buildings with the Angel of the North keeping watch over them. It combines the uniqueness of the North East with the best of the Hard Rock Cafe.
Where is the Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle?
Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
For opening times and to book at table visit the Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle website.
The Rock Shop is open everyday from 10 am until the cafe closes.