Why the Hard Rock Hotel is really great for NYC residents

As a New Yorker, do you really need to visit the Hard Rock Hotel?

A quick history lesson: The original Hard Rock Café launched in 1971 and quickly made a name for itself by showcasing rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and popping up in big, tourist-friendly cities around the world.

You know the shirt. And maybe you went to a restaurant or a hotel – we had some fun at Hard Rock (RIP) in Vegas, now a Richard Branson’s Virgin hotel.

Meanwhile, our city already has Hard Rock Café, a 708-seat restaurant that I have steadfastly avoided except for an occasional media event. Would adding the Hard Rock Hotel to the tourist trap which is Times Square really help this city?

Johnny Oleksinski from New York Post I do not think so. He’s not a fan of the hotel/restaurant chain making claims to the supposed holy lands of, um, 48th Street and 7th Ave.

The writer (who also saw Dry January as a “completely selfish endeavour”) says: “The greedy building owners haven’t sacked some of the last vestiges of Midtown’s signature neighborhood feel in favor of pong shops and espresso bars. Ringo Starr may be pitched to buy new drumsticks. Any day now. This will be the new Hard Rock Hotel, the newest location for memorabilia and the amazing brand that still exists surprisingly.”

He then compares Hard Rock to other Times Square chains like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and David & Buster’s (which I enjoyed, some of which, ironically and otherwise).

Yes, there are plenty of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia to see and hard rock merchandise to buy

Kirk Miller

I visited Hard Rock in late May not as a one night guest, but as a 27 year old resident of this city who now works five minutes from the new hotel. Admittedly, I don’t like this area of ​​town for socializing, but I and many other white-collar workers in the area spend enough time in the shadows of the theater district and Radio City Music Hall to be prepared for a surprisingly wide range of mainstream food or beverage options (ask for The number of times I went to the largest Applebee store in the world on the 50th and 7th).

My goal was simply to enjoy an evening at Hard Rock—which promises “extraordinary entertainment, 446 rooms and suites on 36 floors, and innovative dining”—without sarcasm or residential disdain.

Admittedly, I wasn’t able to see Venue on Music Row, the hotel’s two-story live entertainment space, or spend any time at Sessions Restaurant and Bar, which was located near the check-in counter and seemed more geared toward the daily hotel guest. I also skipped the gift shop on the ground floor because I’m well aware of Hard Rock’s tees and trinkets.

Instead, I focused on NYY Steak, a Yankees-affiliated cavernous steakhouse on the hotel street level, and RT60, the rooftop bar and lounge on the 34th floor.

Steak on a plate at NYY, the steakhouse in the new Hard Rock Hotel

Steaks at Hard Rock’s NYY range from $52 for a 10-ounce steak to $65 an ounce for rare cuts.

Hard Rock Hotels

This isn’t the first steak from New York—there’s one in Florida (!) and another at Yankee Stadium. Ironically, this branch of the steakhouse isn’t a place where you’d watch a baseball game (we didn’t notice any TVs), even as you’re surrounded by a stack of Yankees memorabilia and your meal arrives on plates sporting jersey numbers of famous Yankees players.

No, this is a classic steakhouse first and foremost, a la Keens, Del Frisco’s, Gallagher’s, etc. Nothing on the menu will shock you—we enjoyed New York steak, stewed spinach, old-fashioned smoked (with a branded NYY ice cube), tuna shells, bone marrow, and a few other steakhouse dishes during Thursday night’s dinner. The restaurant offers a range of heritage pieces as well as some rare ones, such as the Japanese A5 “Snow Beef” from Hokkaido.

Overall, the service was attentive and the food, beautifully presented, was either solid steakhouse fare or (no pun intended) a cut above its Midtown peers (I somehow enjoyed the beet salad). If you want an after-work ribeye or even a solid seafood option, New York is definitely it Not Cheap but highly recommended for small groups and those with expense accounts.

Two cocktails at RT60, Hard Rock Hotel's rooftop lounge

Drink prices on the RT60 floor are surprisingly modest

Kirk Miller

Hard Rock’s hidden selling point? Upstairs lounge. Prices for beers and cocktails at the RT60 were $9-17 — or average NYC bar prices and about 50% less than the equivalent rooftop tab. The space was modestly arranged and the crowd decidedly unpopular, and there was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. As someone who found the service, pricing, and door policies of most New York rooftop bars exasperating – yes, there are exceptions – it was nice to enjoy a reasonably priced drink in a setting with a good view and not feel like I’d be crowded by a 25-year-old packed crew .

Looking at the Midtown location, I don’t think the new Hard Rock would destroy any kind of New York heritage. I feel the hotel is an ideal space for city-dwellers to bring their out-of-town friends and family who don’t necessarily feel like wandering downtown or out into Brooklyn – and it can serve as an occasional meeting space for New Yorkers trapped in an area not of their choosing.

The Hard Rock Hotel is located at 159 W 48th Street between Sixth and Seventh Aves.

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