The City of Reykjavík has given a resounding “No” to a Hard Rock Café downtown, pointing out that there are already far too many restaurants and clubs in the area already.
Nútíminn reports that according to the majority opinion of City Council members who voted on the matter, 53% of first-floor establishments on Lækjargata are comprised of restaurants and cafés. This, the city argues, is already too high a percentage.
As reported, Lækjargata 2A, which used to house Iða and Café Mezzo, was closed over the New Year holiday in order to make way for the Hard Rock Café. This was to mark the first time in ten years that the restaurant will be opened in Iceland, after previously being located at the Kringlan mall.
Iða had a rental agreement over the next six years, but Iða’s CEO, Arndís B. Sigurgeirsdóttir, told reporters that Hard Rock bought them out of the contract. The Hard Rock was to open around the start of this year.
Hard Rock’s last venture in Iceland was at Kringlan, but closed in May 2005 after 18 years in business there. However, Vísir reported at the time that the initial surge in popularity waned over the years, and they were not able to sustain the cost of operations.
If Hard Rock does come back to Iceland, it will have to choose another location and try again.
Vísir now reports that Högni Sigurðsson, one of those hoping to open Hard Rock in Iceland again, told reporters that their application has not been formally rejected. Rather, the response from City Hall was just “the first response” to their idea. A formal application was submitted last Friday, and he remains “optimistic” about the city’s response.
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