Exclusive: Hard Rock eyes opening of a London hotel

Kasmira Jefford
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HARD Rock International is on the hunt for a new site in London – where its first iconic cafe was born – with the view of launching a luxury hotel in the capital.

The group, famed for its collection of rock and roll memorabilia, has applied to trademark the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand, City A.M. can reveal.

Hard Rock is privately owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe, which owned and operated Hard Rock casinos and hotels in Florida, before paying a top-of-the market price for Hard Rock International in 2007.

Since the acquisition it has been investing heavily in expanding the brand and last month announced plans to launch a Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza next year – its first foray into Europe.

In 2011, the group joined forces with London property developer Exemplar to find and build a hotel. It had looked at buying the Odeon West End Leicester Square.

However the Odeon was sold to Radisson Edwardian and Hard Rock has yet to find another suitable site.

“They are definitely still looking. But finding a place in central London at the right value and in the right place is difficult,” a source familiar with company said.

Hard Rock and Exemplar declined to comment.