Hard Rock Café Guyana was officially launched at MovieTowne Guyana’s Turkeyen location yesterday and is expected to open to the public this weekend.
Bringing the Hard Rock Café franchise to Guyana was in the planning for a long time but was a short time in the making, according to Tom Perez, Vice-President of the Americas for the company. “We saw the potential of Guyana and thought now is the moment, this country is about to blow up, we think you’re going to be very successful economically and I think this is the time for the brand to come,” Perez said.
He related that the construction of the restaurant took about a year to complete and the collaboration with MovieTowne came about as they will also be opening in MovieTowne’s Trinidad locations soon.
“We’re very familiar with MovieTowne because we’re also going to open in Trinidad within about three months’ time so I was very familiar with the MovieTowne concept in Trinidad. We know Derek Chin, the owner of MovieTowne and we knew that he was putting a world class mall here which was going to be a game changer for Guyana so we thought it would be appropriate to have such a huge investment and have such an icon here,” Perez said, when asked how the collaboration with MovieTowne came about.
At the launch, Perez told members of the media that Guyanese can expect world-class food and live entertainment. He elaborated that the cuisine will feature world-class burgers, steaks from the US, along with a wide selection of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.
The restaurant has already hired around 75 Guyanese and they brought in about 15 trainers from various Hard Rock Café franchises around the world to train the local workers. The local staff received training over a one-month period and the trainers will stay on for an extra week as the restaurant opens its doors to the public.
Members of the media were yesterday taken on a tour around the restaurant. A number of influences from Guyanese landmarks could be seen in the décor while one-of-a-kind memorabilia and personal belongings from different musical artistes could be seen, hung on the walls in pristine condition. These included a gown reportedly worn by Katy Perry in one of her first music videos and signed albums from artistes like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
Perez stated that local bands are welcome to perform on the stage and he hopes that the tradition will continue as many other bands have started their careers on Hard Rock stages around the world. “This stage here is not a decoration, we will be playing live music here and we will be bringing bands. This will be another stage, hopefully, for Guyanese bands to come out to the world performing at Hard Rock Café and hopefully continue the great tradition of bands who started their careers on Hard Rock stages,” Perez added.
He said as of next year, Guyana will be added and invited to participate in the international battle of the bands.
The restaurant also features a store where Hard Rock Café Guyana merchandise, like hats and tops, are sold.