Hard Rock Café

Chicago, IL
Posted June 14, 2001

The retail space at Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe was designed to boost the brand by leveraging the restaurant's strengths and incorporating unusual design elements. Designers at Retail Planning Associates (Columbus, Ohio) elevated the visuals beyond the company's traditional mode - a service counter with product samples hung behind it - to create an environment where customers can touch the merchandise. The space was designed around a central cashwrap, so the store can accommodate many paying customers without the lines interfering with those still browsing.

A guitar chandelier with changing-color fiberoptic strings hangs prominently at the store's center, intended to heighten excitement as patrons enter the space. To highlight the rock 'n'roll memorabilia (that Hard Rock is best known for), the decor features guitars once owned by Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. And magnified backlit images of respected rock artists line the store's perimeter walls. Miniature video monitors display the Hard Rock Café, logo while unobtrusively designed, medium-brown stained fixtures don't compete with the imagery.

Client Team: Hard Rock Café, Orlando - Scott Little, cfo; Craig McIntyre, senior director, design and development; Rick Sconyers, design manager; Steve Jackson, director of retail operations; Craig Scott, project manager; Dianne Hamilton, project/contract administrator

Design Team: Retail Planning Associates, Columbus, Ohio - Paul Hamilton, senior environmental designer; Marie Haines, senior merchandiser; David Denniston, senior art director; Perry Kotick, senior lighting engineer; Patience Williams, client services coordinator; Dana Flemming, merchandiser; Robert Taylor, retail strategist; Dan Stanek, executive vp; Diane Perduk-Rambo, senior vp/creative director; Scott Hagely, project director; David Spurbeck, documentation specialist

General Contractor: Crane Construction, Chicago Suppliers: Matrix Fixtures, Hastings on Hudson, N.Y. (fixtures); Super Vision, Orlando (fiberoptics); The Sherwin-Williams Co., Cleveland (paint)

Photography: Michael Houghton, StudiOhio, Columbus, Ohio