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  1. #1
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    Default Hard Rock Cafe - Santo Domingo (5/10)

    Located in Plaza Colon in the Colonial Zone.
    It's almost opposite the first church in the Americas.

    They did a good job on the inside, looks like a typical Hard Rock Cafe.

    The place has only been open a week or so, I guess they are ironing out the bumps, at least I hope so. The place was packed with the "I'm here, look at me" crowd. I have a feeling this crowd is good for maybe 1 or 2 meals at the Hard Rock Cafe before they move onto the next new venue or go back to Fridays or OutBack. I'm not so sure of the long term success in it's current location, no parking and not in the heart of the upper middle class. You need to win over the local crowd as the Colonial Zone just doesn't get that many tourists.

    Back to the experience...

    The wait for a table was 30 mins or more. When I asked if it was possible for us to eat at the bar, they told me no. They also gave us a flag that nobody seemed to know what it was for, interesting, anyone know? When we went to the bar to wait for our table they said it wasn't a problem eating at the bar. I guess the memo hadn't reached the bar yet The barman took our order down on a napkin, I guess the order book hadn't made it either.

    I asked several times for a chair to sit down on, all the others at the bar had people on them. Mind you, 75% of these people were not drinking, just waiting around for tables. I never got a chair and asking for one just fell on death ears. Kind of like it's not my problem. Even when I got a little more vocal, I was wasting my time. Great service guys, be sure to have the manager give you another pin to stick on your lapel.

    The food came out all at the same time, starter and main meal. The food was ok, nothing special, typical Fridays style food. Not worthy of the Michelin restaurant guide, but better than McDonalds.

    Bottom line, I give the new Hard Rock Cafe, 5 out of 10.

    My advice, Fridays, Outback or the Steakhouse are better options.

    In this business, you have one chance to make a good impression and create a repeat customer. Guess what, I'm only going back if someone else picks up the tab

  2. #2
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    Jan 2002
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    Cool

    Robert,
    Giving them a 5 rating considering the service you got was most gracious. I would have probably given them a 2, if only for making me stand and not sit down. I happened to be there early in May when they had that "look at me, see me" fashion show of sorts and stopped to chat with my buddy, Sergio Carlo, as he was doing tv interviews with some of the "denizens of the fair city" during the "happening." What a strange bunch of people (?) were there. As I told him then and you seem to also echo this, that's about the dumbest place in Santo Domingo to put an establishment like this,...in the heart of the Colonial Zone where tourists go to see where our Western Hemisphere culture started. You go there to hear bachata, merengue and salsa, not rock and roll. It should be located out where the plastic, hip crowd hangs out and not spoil the atmosphere of the square. As you know, the zone is a special place and I for one don't want to see this kind of thing happen around there. I don't wish them ill, but it would be nice if they moved somewhere else, maybe to the Acropolis or some other trumped up facade such as that.
    It reminds me of another hip place just around the corner that went under, Caribbean Blue, that was also out of place in the zone.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    They opened a Hard Rock at Foxwoods Casino on Ct. USA about 6 months ago, it has not done so well either

    the Hard Rock Cafe' "era" was about 10 years ago, most, except for the California locations are not what they were once hyped to be

    You also need the occasional Star or sports figure to draw people.

  4. #4
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    I went twice, around 4 in the afternoon and the place was empty, the service of course it was good as they did'nt have anyone, but it really smelled at the bar. They said it was a problem with the drainage in the colonial zone and what about the WC, well you have to climb in the toilet to close or open the door.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy B
    Robert,
    Giving them a 5 rating considering the service you got was most gracious. I would have probably given them a 2, if only for making me stand and not sit down. I happened to be there early in May when they had that "look at me, see me" fashion show of sorts and stopped to chat with my buddy, Sergio Carlo, as he was doing tv interviews with some of the "denizens of the fair city" during the "happening." What a strange bunch of people (?) were there. As I told him then and you seem to also echo this, that's about the dumbest place in Santo Domingo to put an establishment like this,...in the heart of the Colonial Zone where tourists go to see where our Western Hemisphere culture started. You go there to hear bachata, merengue and salsa, not rock and roll. It should be located out where the plastic, hip crowd hangs out and not spoil the atmosphere of the square. As you know, the zone is a special place and I for one don't want to see this kind of thing happen around there. I don't wish them ill, but it would be nice if they moved somewhere else, maybe to the Acropolis or some other trumped up facade such as that.
    It reminds me of another hip place just around the corner that went under, Caribbean Blue, that was also out of place in the zone.

    I agree with the Andy B. The Hard Rock Cafe does not belong in the Colonial Zone. I hate to see someone lose thier job, but I'll be happy if the Hard Rock Cafe fails. Why? Not just because it doesn't belong in such a historic place, but because if it is successful MORE theme resturants will follow it. I don't want to see the Colonial Zone ruined.

  6. #6
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    I think the Hard Rock Cafes are very often in areas where most tourists come - unfortunately those are often also the historically interesting and vulnerable districts; they sell lots of stuff to tourists that can't think of better souvenirs than a chain restaurant T-shirt with the name of the place they visited on it .
    Last edited by qgrande; 07-24-2006 at 08:20 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel pacheco
    I agree with the Andy B. The Hard Rock Cafe does not belong in the Colonial Zone. I hate to see someone lose thier job, but I'll be happy if the Hard Rock Cafe fails. Why? Not just because it doesn't belong in such a historic place, but because if it is successful MORE theme resturants will follow it. I don't want to see the Colonial Zone ruined.
    From the outside you would not know it was a Hard Rock Cafe except for the sign. Now had a McDonalds opened at that location and put up the Golden Arches there is no doubt that area would never be the same.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird
    From the outside you would not know it was a Hard Rock Cafe except for the sign. Now had a McDonalds opened at that location and put up the Golden Arches there is no doubt that area would never be the same.
    I agree, they have done a good job of blending in.

  9. #9
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    Default The Arches were not that big

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird
    From the outside you would not know it was a Hard Rock Cafe except for the sign. Now had a McDonalds opened at that location and put up the Golden Arches there is no doubt that area would never be the same.
    Used to be a McDonalds on El Conde, did not stand out that much, was down by Cafe Las Flores. But then it went the way of the Burger King, that was on the Corner.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert
    Located in Plaza Colon in the Colonial Zone.
    It's almost opposite the first church in the Americas.

    They did a good job on the inside, looks like a typical Hard Rock Cafe.

    The place has only been open a week or so, I guess they are ironing out the bumps, at least I hope so. The place was packed with the "I'm here, look at me" crowd. I have a feeling this crowd is good for maybe 1 or 2 meals at the Hard Rock Cafe before they move onto the next new venue or go back to Fridays or OutBack. I'm not so sure of the long term success in it's current location, no parking and not in the heart of the upper middle class. You need to win over the local crowd as the Colonial Zone just doesn't get that many tourists.

    Back to the experience...

    The wait for a table was 30 mins or more. When I asked if it was possible for us to eat at the bar, they told me no. They also gave us a flag that nobody seemed to know what it was for, interesting, anyone know? When we went to the bar to wait for our table they said it wasn't a problem eating at the bar. I guess the memo hadn't reached the bar yet The barman took our order down on a napkin, I guess the order book hadn't made it either.

    I asked several times for a chair to sit down on, all the others at the bar had people on them. Mind you, 75% of these people were not drinking, just waiting around for tables. I never got a chair and asking for one just fell on death ears. Kind of like it's not my problem. Even when I got a little more vocal, I was wasting my time. Great service guys, be sure to have the manager give you another pin to stick on your lapel.

    The food came out all at the same time, starter and main meal. The food was ok, nothing special, typical Fridays style food. Not worthy of the Michelin restaurant guide, but better than McDonalds.

    Bottom line, I give the new Hard Rock Cafe, 5 out of 10.

    My advice, Fridays, Outback or the Steakhouse are better options.

    In this business, you have one chance to make a good impression and create a repeat customer. Guess what, I'm only going back if someone else picks up the tab

    Maybe it is an omen that it went into the old Banniter Bank building

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