Saturday, August 22, 2009
Hard Rock Dallas celebrated grand opening on Thursday with Old 97’s and smashed guitars
And a very large cake in the shape of a guitar.
DALLAS Thursday night's grand opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas was definitely not a typical Dallas VIP event, and on that count alone, it got a big "yeah." Half charity event, half Old 97's show, it juxtaposed an unpredictable assortment of folks: sports celebrities like Herschel Walker and Mike Modano, current and former Hard Rock employees, media, and members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida (who became Hard Rock's owners in 2006).
It started with an introduction of "original" Hard Rock Cafe waitress Rita Gilligan and a staged guitar-smashing session on the red-carpeted sidewalk to mark the venue's official opening. On the count of three, VIPs including the Old 97's Rhett Miller, Modano, Jason Terry, Dancing With the Stars contestant Michael Irvin, Seminole Tribe President Richard Bowers, Seminole Tribe Chairman Mitchell Cypress, and Hard Rock CEO Hamish Dodds simultaneously smashed their guitars against stacks of cinder blocks.
Inside, attendees circulated around the bar, clutching their five free drink tickets, or else lined up at the buffet of shrimp, roast beef, macaroni & cheese, and desserts -- profiteroles, pecan squares, bundt cake, and apple cobbler. A giant cake was shaped like a guitar with Hard Rock Cafe iced on top.
Servers walked around with trays of sliders, crab cakes, chicken empanadas, and skewered beef, while more athletes and local VIPs such as Dallas Maverick Erick Dampier, PR exec Jeff Yarbrough, brother-of-Mark Brian Cuban, Mavericks super fan Don Knobler, and Tommy DeAlano, original manager of the Hard Rock on McKinney Ave. (currently of Candleroom and Sunset Lounge), allowed themselves to be photographed by the hoi polloi.
It ended with a performance by the Old 97's and the presentation of a check to the Fallen Patriot Fund, established by Mark Cuban to help families of military personnel killed or seriously wounded in action.