The day the music died: Detroit's Hard Rock Café calls it quits


  • Susan Montgomery /

It's no secret that Detroit's dining scene has really heated up in recent years, especially downtown, with a seemingly constant stream of announcements for restaurants opening. But it looks like a longtime fixture of the downtown scene is set close next year.

The giant guitar-shaped sign of the Hard Rock Café will likely soon get removed from its spot on the side of Dan Gilbert's One Campus Martius Building, as the chain announced on Wednesday it will not renew its lease. The restaurant's last day will be Jan. 26.

The spot opened in 2003, long before Gilbert took over the building. The Detroit closure joins recent Hard Rock Café closures across the world, including Toronto, Saint Louis, and Cleveland, perhaps a victim of millennials' alleged and oft-reported distaste for chain restaurants.

It might not be the end of Hard Rock Café in Detroit, however. "Since opening the doors of Hard Rock Cafe Detroit in 2003, Hard Rock International has appreciated the opportunity to serve the city's locals and guests," the Orlando-based chain said in a statement. "The brand remains committed to the city and is open to having another location within the market, if the right space can be identified."

No word on what will become of the restaurant's Detroit and Motown-themed memorabilia.

So many restaurants, so little time. Sign up for our weekly food newsletter delivered every Friday morning for the latest Detroit dining news.