Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hard Rock Cafe coming to Phnom Penh

Hard Rock Cafe coming to Phnom Penh

An artist performs live at the Hard Rock Cafe Angkor in Siem Reap province.
An artist performs live at the Hard Rock Cafe Angkor in Siem Reap province. Nicky Sullivan

Hard Rock Cafe coming to Phnom Penh

The iconic Hard Rock Cafe will open its second venue in the Kingdom before the end of the year, according to a company representative, and will feature the American restaurant chain’s signature collection of rock ’n’ roll memorabilia.

Meas Development Holding, the sole franchise holder for Hard Rock in Cambodia, is completing the construction of the new location, which will occupy 750 square metres on two floors of the capital’s newly opened Exchange Square building. The new outlet will have a capacity of 370 people, including a 75-seat outdoor terrace, a VIP room and a Hard Rock gift shop.

The venue in the capital, which was part of the initial franchise agreement, is set for a soft launch in late September, according to Toby Paul Crowder, director of operations at Hard Rock Cafe Cambodia. He said the Exchange Square location appealed to the US-based franchiser due to its modern facilities and ample parking area – a feature overlooked by most other developments in the capital.

“Once this building was being built, and we suggested it, they [Hard Rock International] were very interested because you have a couple hundred underground parking spaces, a brand new building and proper air conditioning,” he said. “It’s ideal for what we look for.”

Keeping to the Hard Rock identity, the new venue will focus heavily on entertainment, with an American inspired menu and nightly live music, Crowder explained. To increase the local appeal, the restaurant will regularly host Cambodian performers and well-known musicians.

“We made it so you have your dinner, but you’re also entertained at the same time,” he said. “The whole audiovisual system, the sound system, the lighting system, the way we’ve done the seating, it’s all focused on the live action.”

Unlike the Hard Rock Cafe Angkor in Siem Reap, where close to 90 percent of customers are tourists, the Phnom Penh venue will be much more geared towards local clientele and expats, Crowder noted.

Like any of the nearly 200 Hard Rock outlets around the world, the Phnom Penh outlet will include a display of memorabilia from famous rock ’n’ roll musicians. It will also showcase a collection of objects and materials associated with famous Cambodian artists.

“We have memorabilia from four famous Khmer artists,” Crowder said. “This is something that Hard Rock is quite interested in doing because it interests the local crowd and it helps us to sell the brand to them.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving