Hard Rock Cafe

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So I’ve gone a little crazy with the Europe posts lately, but I really wanted to document it all, so thanks for still reading and being patient with me while I get through the 2nd half of the trip over the next week or two!

In the meantime I’ve had so many people ask me for ideas of ways to beat the heat this summer, and fun date ideas you can do while there are record breaking temps! Don’t worry, a post is coming very soon about this topic. Let me share one date we’ve done to keep us in a cool location and have some fun.

One more thing you have to know about this date- we decided after Europe we would go on some more free and cheap dates to help balance the depleted fun money account, so expect some free and inexpensive dates showing up in the next month!

One of the big things we do to afford dating is utilize our credit card rewards. We have both researched the best reward cards for us and each of us use those like they are debit cards. We pay off the balance weekly to stay out of debt and never pay interest, but we let all the rewards points we get go towards fun money. Sometimes that’s adding cash to our fund, but often that is getting a gift card to a restaurant or fun place when they offer promotions to get them for less points. This date was almost free in that regard, we used a gift card that Jacob found for not a lot of points to get us to a really fun location- The Hard Rock Cafe!

I’ve had a thing for Hard Rock since I was a preteen who learned to channel her teenage angst through various types of rock music. Most people are shocked to learn I attended many punk rock concerts in high school, listening to nothing but the Beatles in 7th grade, and took guitar lessons growing up playing only classic and folk rock. I’ve never bet a metal fan, but aside from that, this place gets me.

I also have one of the sweetest daddy-daughter stories in the world surrounding Hard Rock Cafe. As a Mormon we believe you should wait until you’re 16 to start dating. I was really committed to this as a teen, and I had a really hard moment when I was asked to Homecoming at age 15, just a few months before my 16th birthday. I thanked that nice boy, told him my situation, and he supported me religiously. My Dad was so proud of me that he decided to take me on a date that night since all my friends were older and would be at Homecoming. We both loved Hard Rock, so we choose to drive 45 minutes to Salt Lake and dine there. It’s one of my favorite memories of my Dad and childhood in general, and consequently I’ve always had a place in my heart for Hard Rock.

If you’ve never been to one let me break it down for you. Basically the cafe has music videos of various rock constantly playing, and some songs spark severs to stop what they are doing and bust a move (Grease Lightening in the Vegas casino cafe was one of the funnest things I’ve seen). They also have a very cool ambiance decorating with actual paraphernalia from various artists including clothing, guitars, signed items, original albums, etc.


There’s usually at least one artist that originated from that location who gets recognized. Phoenix proudly claims Stevie Nicks as one of ours.
But even if you don’t have a cool artist/band from your region, you’ll still see plenty of other amazing pieces.



And who doesn’t want to have “Livin’ on a Prayer” stuck in their head?
Not to mention the fact that I once ended a relationship with a boy because he didn’t like Pearl Jam. True story, and that was an important detail of my teenage life. Once I found out that detail it was over before it could even start.
Hand-written lyrics are always a cool thing to see. I love thinking of where they were when inspiration struck, and feeling validated in my teenage judgement calls.
And I know what you’re thinking at this point, “That’s nice Camille, but the FOOD, let’s get to the FOOD!” And I’m right there with you, let me tell you about the food.
They aren’t known for it, so you have to go with expectations that you may not be eating the most spectacular thing of your life, which we did. However, I will say we were pleasantly surprised! It’s actually quite good for being a place known more for the experience than the dining.
Jacob went with my childhood favorite that I told him about, the Twisted Mac and Cheese


But I have to limit my carbs, so I ate only a few bites and enjoyed my S.O.B. Burger because everyone needs a little spice with their beef.


And we were both quite pleased with our choices!
One other awesome thing is the live music. Most support local bands and have someone come in during the later hours to entertain everyone after dinner.
We left to beat baseball traffic (The Phoenix location is in the heart of Downtown) but enjoyed watching the test song.
If you need a place to get out of the heat and enjoy a cool environment, HardRock Cafe is a really fun date! It’s even better when you get to use credit card rewards and go practically for free!

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  1. Katie Elizabeth Hawkes says:

    I went to Hard Rock in New York last year in Times Square! We needed someplace close to the theatre where we were going to see Newsies. It was a visual stimulus overload in a good way, but that makes it fit in with Times Square! Also, Stevie Nicks. Yesss. Also, you need to teach me about credit card rewards. I know nothing.

  2. Miss Riss says:

    I've walked by this so many times and have never been in! Looks awesome!

  3. Shannon b says:

    The story about the date with your dad is the cutest thing ever! What a lucky girl! I haven't been to Hard Rock I years, but I can agree that the food is just good, nothing amazing. Loved hearing about your “rock” history!