Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck is open! Not far from the city’s famous Golden Roof, it’s another shining attraction in the pedestrian zone in Maria Theresa Street. For the first time, Hard Rock incorporated the unique historical elements of the location into its own special brand. The result is a venue that locals and tourists alike will keep on coming back to.
Refreshing welcome despite rain and waiting times
Our first taste of Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck was on a rainy Saturday not even a week after its official opening on 13 August. We – two South African families now living in Austria and the Netherlands respectively – arrived at around 18:00 in the hope that we were early enough to get a table. (They don’t take reservations.)
It was nice to be approached immediately, asked how many people we were, and explained to that we would have to wait 20 minutes for a table. No problem with a buzzer to let us know when the table is ready and a shop full of souvenirs and memorabilia to explore in the meantime!
No schnitzel or knödel – just Hard Rock food
Expect a little sensory overload when you first enter Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck. (Or maybe we are just country bumpkins not used to hanging out in the city?) “Confronted” by an army of waiters, loud rock music, new menus and a lot of interesting music history to look at, we needed time to take it all in over a drink before ordering food. The kids were kept busy with a “Rockin’ Activity Book” and crayons while their parents reminisced about their good old party days.
We ordered a big plate of nachos to share as a starter. It was polished within minutes. The only let-down was that they were out of guacamole. For mains, we decided to stick to the famous Hard Rock Burgers – two original legendary burgers, one hickory barbeque bacon cheeseburger and one atomic burger. They all come at the same price of €14,90. The taste was great, although the patty was a bit on the dry side. The chips are the best I’ve had in a while.
Impressing the kids
The kids’ admiration for Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck grew another notch when their meals were served in guitar shaped plates. Two had Buddy Jr’s Bangin burger with cheese and the other the Sir Kingston’s classic cheese pizza. The pizza was a bit of a disappointment for the young lad. It had a normal white bread base and a very sweet tomato relish. The kids’ meals with one drink (from the kids’ menu) cost €8,70.
While the relish was too sweet, the iced tea contained no sugar at all. “Mommy, it’s plain cold fruit tea,” M exclaimed after taking his first sip. Warm fruit tea with sugar or honey is one of his favourite winter drinks. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that the Hard Rock version had no sugar! By then they each had a coke as well 😊. They drank the tea regardless. The lack of sugar was forgiven when Pato, the friendly waiter trainer, said they may keep the plastic glasses the drinks came in. He also brought them a cocktail stirrer each.
Beers for under €4
Drink prices compare well to other restaurants in the area. A big beer from the tap (500ml) costs €3,90, a glass of wine is €3,30. Most cocktails are just under €10 or around €15 if you want to keep the glass as a souvenir.
Service to set new standards
By now you have probably gathered we were quite impressed with the service. There were about 20 trainers on the floor to make sure the local waiters live up to Hard Rock standards. We were even more impressed when Pato told us his “boss” was South African. Tanya Hugo, director of franchise operations for Europe, spent six weeks in Innsbruck to oversee the seamless opening of the latest Hard Rock Cafe. She took time out of her hectic evening schedule to check on her fellow South Africans twice. Thanks, Tanya!
The only little irritation during the meal was that we were asked to pay just as our food arrived because our waiter was going off shift. We don’t think shift changes should impact on the customers.
Hard Rock Café Innsbruck is a refreshing and welcome addition to the restaurant scene in the Capital of the Alps. With a little effort to perfect the dishes on the menu and if they manage to keep the high service levels up, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be a thundering success.
Soft Facts About Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck
- Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck is only the second one in Austria. Austrians waited until 2014 for the first one to open in Vienna.
- The incorporation of a gold and bronze theme in the interior of the Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck links to the Golden Roof, Innsbruck’s most famous landmark, and the famous Schwarze Mander (Black Men) in the Court Church. They are 28 impressive bronze statues surrounding a black marble cenotaph for Emperor Maximilian I.
Read more: Top 5 things to see in Innsbruck.
- Two knights in shining gold armour watch over approaching customers from a window on the second floor.
- Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck is in a historical building dating to 1577, making it one of the oldest buildings housing a Hard Rock Cafe. It occupies around 1,000 m² of which 650 m² is guest space.
- Seating will eventually be available for over 300 guests, including in open areas to the front and back.
- Regional produce is incorporated into the menu dishes as far as possible. There is even a “Dudler” cocktail, with the unique Austrian Almdudler soft drink as one of the ingredients.
- Not only hard rock but also pop, reggae, and hip hop is on Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck’s playlist.
- Live music acts are planned for twice a week.
Memorabilia from famous musicians
The Memorabilia from famous musicians include:
Motörhead Drum Set
A Sonor set used by longtime Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee on stage with the late Lemmy Kilmister during the group’s 2011 ‘The Wörld is Yours’ tour.
Red Pullover from Elvis Presley
A red pullover worn by The King in the 1964 film, ‘Viva Las Vegas’.
Puffy Layered Jacket from Lady Gaga
A puffy layered Stefanie Barnz jacket worn by pop megastar Lady Gaga on stage at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 14th, 2014.
Michael Jackson’s Black Danger Shoes
The shoes worn by Michael Jackson during the photo sessions for his ‘Bad’ album cover in 1987.
Black Leather Boots from Johnny Cash
Knee-high black boots worn by the “Man in Black” – country legend Johnny Cash.
Restaurant & Bar – 11:30 to 01:00, 360 days per year.
Rock Shop – 10:00 to 24:00
Address: Maria Theresa Street 16, Innsbruck. If you are coming by car, the closest parking is in the Rathaus Galerien.
Have you been to Hard Rock Cafe Innsbruck or any other Hard Rock Café in the world? Tell us all about it in the comments.