The Hard Rock Cafe has been a fixture on Decatur Street in New Orleans for 25 years, but is now calling Bourbon Street home. It’s taken up residence in the heart of the French Quarter and with the new location comes some big changes for the chain. The 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant is serving up food and drinks, music, merchandise and memorabilia…all with a side of rock and roll!
General manager Don Estep says the restaurant offers, “Many, many types of burgers, salads, pastas, ribs, chicken, just a basic all-American menu.” The food didn’t change with the new location, but the Hard Rock Cafe is launching a new live music program, bringing in local artists like Kermit Ruffins 4 nights a week.
Hard Rock historian Jeff Nolan says both the music and memorabilia were carefully selected to reflect the rich culture of our city. “With other cafes, we can have a more of a global appeal and we can salute artists from all over the world. In New Orleans, we absolutely need to respect the legacy of this town.” The memorabilia at the new location is priceless- it would never be sold. However, the Hard Rock says it’s valued in the millions of dollars and includes many pieces from famous musicians who hailed from right here in New Orleans.
Among the offerings, Louis Armstrong’s trumpet hangs proudly by the front entrance and Leo Nochintelli’s extremely rare Fender “Starcaster” guitar is showcased in a back room. Nolan explains, “It’s the guitar that he used throughout his career. It recorded Lady Marmalade, all the classic Meters tracks which are just the funkiest expression of New Orleans music.”
Each piece is the real deal. The costumes were actually worn by the artists and the instruments are the ones they actually played. A step inside the restaurant is a self-guided tour through the history of New Orleans music, right in the heart of the French Quarter.