25 Years of Hard rock Cafe, Surfers Paradise


The energy in the room was similar to the team’s as we gathered for the first time since lockdown to celebrate the same year of challenge the Hard Rock Cafe endured, outlasting the chain’s original, Australian site in Sydney. (L-R Chris Walker, Health & Fitness Editor, Fernanda Gui, Features Editor)

It’s an institution known for its rich collection of rock and roll memorabilia that theme its chain of 185+ cafes in 74 countries in 25 hotels and 12 casinos! While Darlinghurst boasts the first Australian site for the beloved chain, it’s Surfers Paradise that has stood the test of time, after its demise in 2007 and re-emergence four years later in Darling Square.

The celebration saw long time friends gather to mark the quarter century milestone after a year of separation and challenges in a post-lockdown era.

Rai Thistlethwayte (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Phil Stack (bass guitar), Karl Robertson (drums) of Thirsty Merc warmed up the stage with many of our favorites, included the much acclaimed theme song from Bondi Rescue, which many of their younger followers know them for. Their sound and timeless originals capturing the core essence of Australia’s Hard Rock cafe.

Shannon Noll reminded us all on the devastating effects of the past year on the live music and events industry, before belting the stage with crowd favorites.

The embodiment of the rock and roll mantra saw staff from Sydney and Surfers Paradise create an epic party to end all parties as guests were greeted with Patron Silver Tequila and their signature Hurricanes. As the room cheered in song in a moving rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, many of the staff were able to leave their posts and take in a much needed salute on stage with M.C. Mike Goldman.

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