ATLANTIC CITY — When the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City reopens as part of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, at the former Trump Taj Mahal, in summer 2018, the restaurant will have a new look and central location.
In preparation for the move, the cafe will close Sept. 30, according to an announcement Thursday from Hard Rock International.
As part of the property’s transformation, the restaurant will move to a larger more central 400-seat location that will include an improved stage and feature beach access.
“They think that the restaurant is a draw on its own,” said Richard Perniciaro, director of the Center for Regional and Business Research at Atlantic Cape Community College. “So they will draw those customers closer to other activities that they hope will engage them.”
The new 21,000-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City will employ more than 100 staff, up from the 55 employed at the current location.
“The current location that they have is not a prime location. It’s hidden from the casino floor,” said Robert Ambrose, a gaming industry consultant.
“I remember coming upon it by accident. By moving, it’s going to gain a major footprint on the property,” Ambrose said.
Next summer, Hard Rock International and investors Joe Jingoli and Jack Morris are expected to reopen the former Trump Taj Mahal as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. During the next year, the group is expected to spend more than $500 million to renovate the property.
“From world-renowned music events to innovative dining concepts, we’re excited to bring the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino experience to the Atlantic City Boardwalk — which has been home to our Hard Rock Cafe for more than 20 years,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in April.
“Our commitment to Atlantic City has never been stronger, and we look forward to being a catalyst for further growth and development of the area,” he said.
The project is expected to generate more than 1,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs, according to Hard Rock. The new property will feature two separate arenas, with seating totaling 7,000, and more than 2,400 slot machines.
“The Hard Rock will be the last casino on the Boardwalk unless Ten opens with a license,” Perniciaro said. “Hard Rock will be the most difficult casino property to get to, so they will need to work harder to attract folks in town and staying at other properties. They will also need to keep their own customers in their building.”
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