The Hard Rock Cafe has officially announced its move from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.
As we first reported Tuesday, the popular restaurant was looking for a larger space with free parking, and now that Pigeon Forge allows liquor by the drink sales, officials were ready to make the move down the parkway.
The Pigeon Forge Hard Rock will be located at 2050 Parkway, in the old Tony Roma's restaurant location. Renovations are currently underway int he 12,000 square foot building. It's scheduled to open in the late Spring.
"The new Pigeon Forge cafe places us in a more strategic location, allowing us to serve even more guests in a larger space. Additionally, the new location's interior design style will more accurately reflect our brand's fresh and contemporary atmosphere," said Calum MacPherson, Area Vice President of Cafe Operations (North America) for Hard Rock International. "We have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the residents and guests of the Eastern Tennessee region for more than 14 years and will continue to do so."
The new Hard Rock Cafe location will seat 302 guests, feature private event space, free parking, patio seating, live music stage, and an interactive Rock Wall Solo- a 52" high-resolution interactive touch wall that enables fans to virtually explore the world's greatest music memorabilia collection.
Hard Rock will lease the site from Fee-Hedrick Entertainment.
A change in Pigeon Forge's liquor law is driving a popular Gatlinburg restaurant to move to the neighboring town.
The Hard Rock Cafe has been a staple on the Parkway in Gatlinburg for 15 years.
First Commercial Real Estate said when the world-wide chain's lease was up, they approached them about changing locations.
The real estate company's president, Keith Widmer, said the restaurant loved Sevier County but wanted on-site parking and a central location in the county.
When they first started looking several years ago, Pigeon Forge was not an option because they did not sell liquor by the drink.
Widmer said Hard Rock liked the former site of Tony Roma's, near Wonderworks and the Titanic Museum, and waited until the city passed liquor by the drink law to make an offer.
The Hard Rock Cafe is currently renovating the 14,000 square foot Tony Roma's building and plans to open in the late spring or summer.
The new location will seat 302 guests and feature private event space, free parking, patio seating and a live music stage.
Widmer said the Gatlinburg property is on the market and there is some interest.