Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu Never Stopped Rocking

Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu Never Stopped Rocking

The Hawaii Aloha Travel Blog recently returned to the Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu after a long three years. We are happy to report that it remains one of Waikiki’s “must-do” establishments. The food is great, the prices are reasonable even for Waikiki, and the location is central to pretty much everything there is to do during a stay in Waikiki

Of course, the rock and roll memorabilia on exhibit at the Hard Rock Café Waikiki is astounding. Elvis. The Beatles. Wow.

Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki The Beatles
The Beatles (kind of) at Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki.

A Long-Running History in Hawaii

The Hard Rock’s history in Hawaii goes much farther back than its current location on Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki’s “main drag”. The first Hawaii franchise was opened way back in 1987, a mile or so north on the same street. The property there was once the home of the famous and now long-gone Coco’s Restaurant. It is now the home of the Honolulu Coffee Experience Center.

Today’s Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu

The old Hard Rock location featured live music, either outdoors or on makeshift interior stages. The current Waikiki location opened in 2010, has a dedicated stage with concert-quality sound and lighting operated by some of the best technicians in Hawaii. The stage was mostly quiet for two years because of the pandemic and its attendant requirements and restrictions. With those obstacles now removed, the Hard Rock is once again one of Honolulu’s premiere live music venues. We’re glad The Hard Rock has operated responsibly and as permitted throughout the pandemic and made it through to the other side.

A Prime Location

Before this most recent visit, I’d forgotten what an ideal place the Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu is for the simple pleasure of people-watching. It’s an indoor, open-air space that allows for lots of movement and views of the rock-and-roll treasures on display. The lanai looks out onto the busiest visitor boulevard in Hawaii.

View from the lanai at Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu

Most people are harmlessly weird. It’s fun to see toddlers toddle along with harried and heavily laden parents and to witness teenagers walk into streetlamps while TikTok-ing in broad daylight. I saw a smiling and green-clad old man in the middle of the street get honked at by a tour bus moving at the speed of slow ooze. It was glorious. At any rate, the Hard Rock still rocks.

Sound wave? Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki.

My Visit to Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu

And now, full disclosure: my visit here was not a coincidence. I was there to perform with my band for Saint Patrick’s Day after the parade. 

It was wonderful to return to Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu after a Covid hiatus. The smell and sizzle of hot plates were sublime. And the sound was perfect.

Several dozen visiting teen choir members giggled and guffawed in the “Rock Shop” and in the restaurant, carefully choosing souvenirs and selfies for family members and friends back home in Nevada or wherever. (Green Valley? Grass Valley? Rock & Roll never forgets.) They wore bright blue t-shirts accessorized with shining yellow flower lei. Some approached the band to share their musical aspirations between sets, eager and prepared to engage in shop talk with working musicians.

A great room. Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a live music gig, since Hawaii’s bands have had a place to play. I verged on tears of gratitude. So was everyone else in the room, and everyone on Kalakaua Avenue below.

Oh, yeah. The resident and ample Saint Patrick’s Day Parade crowd was on hand and happy, too. Perfect.

Knowing Where to Eat in Honolulu

You have to know what to look for in a Hawaii vacation. So we’re on the ground here at Hawaii Aloha Travel, and we’re here to help you find it.

Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu:
280 Beach Walk, Honolulu, HI
(808) 955-7383