Hard Rock Santo Domingo

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,495
3,336
113
Tonight we were in Blue Mall and decided to have dinner in Hard Rock. We were literally the only people in the whole place when we entered (at 7pm) and we were the only people who had eaten anything when we left (at 9pm). A few couples came in and had drinks, maybe 6 people in total. Such a shame to see something that is failing so spectacularly. To my mind the prices are way high - a bottle of water was RD$ 150 ++ (so RD$ 192 in total). A cuba libre was RD$ 500, just short of US$ 10 and they measured the rum so it was one of the weakest I've tasted in a long time. And Santo Domingo has so many bars now I guess the competition is ferocious.

I'd not be surprised if Hard Rock takes away the right to use the brand soon, it's such a sad example.
 

Sol09

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2017
307
275
63
I don't really think it's a place that people go to dine (besides the food there isn't good). It's more of an entertainment spot that holds concerts which have always been packed when I've gone.
 

JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
12,578
8,863
113
Maria, were you here when Blue Mall opened? When there was a food court?
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
5,142
2,953
113
Within the last year or two, the Hard Rock has closed many of their restaurant locations. Which like Maria's report is not surprising since they have never been known for "good food". Hard Rock always reminded me of the old Planet Hollywood restaurants which had bad food but some interesting memorabilia on display.
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,495
3,336
113
The friend I was with is from the US and he has a thing about Hard Rock, that's why we went. When it was in the Colonial Zone it was much more of a popular place, I think since they moved it to Blue Mall it has completely died.

SBG always makes me laugh in Blue Mall, so many people eating there just to be seen at SBG in Blue Mall. I think if you served them fungus they would Instagram it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: colmcb

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
13,867
3,380
113
The reason they moved to BM was because most of their clientele when they were in the CZ were Dominicans from areas closer to BM than CZ. The place was never a true magnet of tourists.

With that said, many businesses will go through much of the week not even breaking even vs the operating cost for that day, then comes the weekend and holidays and it makes up for the slow days. Also, for many businesses the middle of the week are their slow days. I don’t know if this also applies to restaurants, but many businesses will not be profitable until the holiday/Christmas season arrives. How the business does during that season will define if the business ends the year with red or blue numbers.

I wouldn’t judge if a business is profitable if you never see many clients there, especially in the middle of the week. If the business seem dead during special holidays (I would think around Mother’s Day is when flower businesses make a good chunk or most of their money), then the writing is on the wall.

With restaurants it could be trickier. Never know if for X restaurant they make most of their business as delivery. In that case, the business itself will seem very empty of clients at most times, but that could be a profitable day for them if most business was done via the Pedidos Ya! type of crowd.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MoJoInDR

Manuel01

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2009
935
974
93
The friend I was with is from the US and he has a thing about Hard Rock, that's why we went. When it was in the Colonial Zone it was much more of a popular place, I think since they moved it to Blue Mall it has completely died.

SBG always makes me laugh in Blue Mall, so many people eating there just to be seen at SBG in Blue Mall. I think if you served them fungus they would Instagram it.
So if you are right, how comes that SBG is one of the highest ratet restaurants in the Dominican Republic ?
 

Big

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2019
5,102
4,264
113
The friend I was with is from the US and he has a thing about Hard Rock, that's why we went. When it was in the Colonial Zone it was much more of a popular place, I think since they moved it to Blue Mall it has completely died.

SBG always makes me laugh in Blue Mall, so many people eating there just to be seen at SBG in Blue Mall. I think if you served them fungus they would Instagram it.
Cafe SBG is in the mall. SBG, Sophia's Bar & Grill is several blocks away. Totally different experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jd426

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,495
3,336
113
Cafe SBG is in the mall. SBG, Sophia's Bar & Grill is several blocks away. Totally different experience.

That's the one I'm talking about, the Cafe. It's just like everyone who lives in Piantini is so proud of the fact that they live there. I have met so many people who go on and on about how they live in Piantini like it's somewhere really special. They always say it's wonderful because they're right in the middle of everything, but nobody walks anywhere anyway so I can't see it makes that much of a difference whether you live in Piantini or Casicazgos or Arroyo Hondo but they seem to think they are serious high-rollers. In their rented apartments and their rented vehicles and their maxed out credit cards.

I have never been to the original one around the corner, I admit it has a very good reputation.
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,495
3,336
113
The reason they moved to BM was because most of their clientele when they were in the CZ were Dominicans from areas closer to BM than CZ. The place was never a true magnet of tourists.

With that said, many businesses will go through much of the week not even breaking even vs the operating cost for that day, then comes the weekend and holidays and it makes up for the slow days. Also, for many businesses the middle of the week are their slow days. I don’t know if this also applies to restaurants, but many businesses will not be profitable until the holiday/Christmas season arrives. How the business does during that season will define if the business ends the year with red or blue numbers.

I wouldn’t judge if a business is profitable if you never see many clients there, especially in the middle of the week. If the business seem dead during special holidays (I would think around Mother’s Day is when flower businesses make a good chunk or most of their money), then the writing is on the wall.

With restaurants it could be trickier. Never know if for X restaurant they make most of their business as delivery. In that case, the business itself will seem very empty of clients at most times, but that could be a profitable day for them if most business was done via the Pedidos Ya! type of crowd.

I think any hospitality business needs to be busy every day (I've run one for many years). Any schmo can run a restaurant that's full on Valentine's night, but the places that are really successful are restaurants that are busy on a Tuesday afternoon. My old business partner used to say "You pay the salaries and the rent and the electricity 24/7 so we have to be busy 24/7 to make money" and it's very true. A handful of businesses are cutting it in Santo Domingo. Like Pat e Palo for example or Maraca in the Zona Colonial for example, those places are always rammed. Or Adrian Tropical on the Malecon, never ever not busy. Or Macdonalds or Barra Payan (the one on 30th March) at the other end of the spectrum. But I can't see how anyone can pay the type of rent Hard Rock are paying in Blue Mall, all those salaries, the electricity etc. etc. etc. just to be full on the odd night they have a gig, that just wouldn't add up for me.
 

Big

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2019
5,102
4,264
113
That's the one I'm talking about, the Cafe. It's just like everyone who lives in Piantini is so proud of the fact that they live there. I have met so many people who go on and on about how they live in Piantini like it's somewhere really special. They always say it's wonderful because they're right in the middle of everything, but nobody walks anywhere anyway so I can't see it makes that much of a difference whether you live in Piantini or Casicazgos or Arroyo Hondo but they seem to think they are serious high-rollers. In their rented apartments and their rented vehicles and their maxed out credit cards.

I have never been to the original one around the corner, I admit it has a very good reputation.
Piantini is probably the least walkable part of the city
 
  • Like
Reactions: keepcoming

JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
12,578
8,863
113
I think any hospitality business needs to be busy every day (I've run one for many years). Any schmo can run a restaurant that's full on Valentine's night, but the places that are really successful are restaurants that are busy on a Tuesday afternoon. My old business partner used to say "You pay the salaries and the rent and the electricity 24/7 so we have to be busy 24/7 to make money" and it's very true. A handful of businesses are cutting it in Santo Domingo. Like Pat e Palo for example or Maraca in the Zona Colonial for example, those places are always rammed. Or Adrian Tropical on the Malecon, never ever not busy. Or Macdonalds or Barra Payan (the one on 30th March) at the other end of the spectrum. But I can't see how anyone can pay the type of rent Hard Rock are paying in Blue Mall, all those salaries, the electricity etc. etc. etc. just to be full on the odd night they have a gig, that just wouldn't add up for me.

That was my point in my other post to you. All of the restaurants that were there when Blue Mall opened closed after their first year contract ended.
I seem to remember even the little kiosko-type businesses were paying 1k a month.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MariaRubia

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
5,142
2,953
113
IMO many of the restaurants are more of a "to be seen" kind of thing rather than being known for good food. There are some good restaurants in Santo Domingo, however, most of the clientele would be considered "low key money types" (meaning they have money but are not there to be "seen"). So, these places you would not see plastered all over social media. Years ago, we used to like to go to El meson de la cava. Good food at the time, ambiance was nice, etc... Now you go and everyone is just taking photos for Instagram, that type of crowd. Just a different vibe now and the food is so-so. Of course, my favorite was always Vesuvio's on the Malecon. Miss that place.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Liberator

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
13,867
3,380
113
I think any hospitality business needs to be busy every day (I've run one for many years).
I don’t think that is general for those types of businesses. For example, hotels/restaurants-in-the-hotels in tourist areas like Punta Cana essentially have a high season and a higher season. In the rest of the DR and much of the world they have a high season and a low season. None of them would survive if the entire year is like an eternal low season, year after year. Anyone visiting a business that has high and low seasons during their low season will get the impression they must not be doing good. Many times that is only an impression.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
23,383
6,674
113
South Coast
IMO many of the restaurants are more of a "to be seen" kind of thing rather than being known for good food. There are some good restaurants in Santo Domingo, however, most of the clientele would be considered "low key money types" (meaning they have money but are not there to be "seen"). So, these places you would not see plastered all over social media. Years ago, we used to like to go to El meson de la cava. Good food at the time, ambiance was nice, etc... Now you go and everyone is just taking photos for Instagram, that type of crowd. Just a different vibe now and the food is so-so. Of course, my favorite was always Vesuvio's on the Malecon. Miss that place.

I miss Vesuvio’s too. I also miss the paella at the restaurant in the old Hotel Lina. Our first date was to La Llave Del Mar, a quirky little seafood place far end of the malecon. It was there for decades, was sad to see it close, we sometimes stopped to eat just for the nostalgia. We like Cantabrico too but it’s been awhile.
 

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
13,867
3,380
113
That's the one I'm talking about, the Cafe. It's just like everyone who lives in Piantini is so proud of the fact that they live there. I have met so many people who go on and on about how they live in Piantini like it's somewhere really special. They always say it's wonderful because they're right in the middle of everything, but nobody walks anywhere anyway so I can't see it makes that much of a difference whether you live in Piantini or Casicazgos or Arroyo Hondo but they seem to think they are serious high-rollers. In their rented apartments and their rented vehicles and their maxed out credit cards.

I have never been to the original one around the corner, I admit it has a very good reputation.
Not many people like to drive through the city when traffic is high. You yourself said how wonderful was SD during Semana Santa. There was one thing that actually changed about the city (and caused other changes in the city) during Semana Santa. One of the biggest complaints of people in SD and elsewhere in the DR is the traffic which seems to get worse and worse.
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
5,142
2,953
113
I miss Vesuvio’s too. I also miss the paella at the restaurant in the old Hotel Lina. Our first date was to La Llave Del Mar, a quirky little seafood place far end of the malecon. It was there for decades, was sad to see it close, we sometimes stopped to eat just for the nostalgia. We like Cantabrico too but it’s been awhile

I saw this photo the other day, brought back such memories...sorry everyone about going off topic.


133468824_50b60e6898_b.jpg