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Downtown Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe Is Shutting Down

The chain restaurant located steps from Pike Place Market will be closed after December 1

A guitar-shaped Hard Rock Cafe sign. Harry Cheadle
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

A massive outpost of a major brand is burning out or fading away, your pick: On Monday, October 2, Hard Rock International confirmed that it plans to close the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Seattle. The last day of service will be December 1, reports King 5.

Hard Rock, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has shut down a number of locations in recent years, including its Denver and Memphis restaurants in 2023. The company said in its statement that it is “open to having another location within the Seattle market, if the right space can be identified.”

The closure means that the cafe’s 66 employees will lose their jobs.

As the Seattle Times noted, when the Hard Rock opened in 2010 it was seen as a good sign for the neighborhood. “Kate Joncas, then-president of the Downtown Seattle Association, said the restaurant would help transform a somewhat seedy stretch of Pike Street between the market and the downtown retail core,” wrote the Times on Monday.

That section of downtown is struggling once more due in part to a high volume of property crime, as tracked by the city, as well as the area’s continued challenges around how to handle people using drugs in public. Other chain businesses have announced closures in Seattle recently, including two Target locations that were shuttered supposedly because of concerns over property crime and shoplifting. But Hard Rock did not provide any reason for the cafe’s closure.

It’s unclear what will be done with the space, which includes 425 seats in the restaurant and a live music venue. Something should fill the void left behind by Hard Rock, though — the rooftop bar, with views of the Pike Place Market sign and the waterfront, was one of the neighborhood’s hidden gems.