From our hotel, Jandy, Osang, Violet and I started our walking tour of Siem Reap. After crossing the bridge across the Siem Reap River, we made our first stopover at the 900 sq. m. Hard Rock Cafe Angkor. Here, we chatted with Mr. Chris Viengkhamvilay (Operations Manager) and Mr. Kevin Mernet (Bar Supervisor) on what's up with this Hard Rock Cafe branch.
Housed in an old colonial-style building, Hard Rock Cafe Angkor is located within the King’s Road Angkor development complex, a 5,000 sq. m., open-air shopping center. It is situated next to the Old Market, on the corner of River Road and High School Road, just across the Siem Reap River. A distinctive giant illuminated guitar is hung outside to light the way. Their grand opening will be in October.
Cambodia’s first ever Hard Rock Cafe (a second one is slated to open in Phnom Penh in late 2015), this 260-seater café has 164 seats across two floors, plus an additional 96 seats on the riverside terrace. It also has a ground floor souvenir ‘rock shop where souvenir hunters can purchase t-shirts, caps, badges and other items.
Like its 175 sister cafes in 53 countries around the world, it boasts of an impressive collection of various and exclusive rock n’ roll memorabilia (from Hard Rock’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida), from over the decades lining its walls.
On display are outfits worn by Shakira, Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band), Joey Kramer (Aerosmith), Taboo (Black-Eyed Peas), and Zero (D'espairsRay); Elvis Presley’s belt; Madonna’s hat; Eminem’s shoes; Brett Michael's (Poison) hat; and Johnny Rotten’s and Paula Abdul's jackets.
There are also signed and unsigned guitars of Don Everly (The Everly Brothers), Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi), Frank Hannon (Tesla), John Lee Hooker. Albert King, Lenny Kravitz, Lek (Carabao), John Mellencamp, Sting, Gene Simmons (Kiss), Rick Springfield and Joe Walsh (Eagles).
There are also mounted displays of drumsticks of Kevin Franks (Silvertide), Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Frank Beard (ZZ Top), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Joey Kramer (Aerosmith), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), Alex van Halen (Van Halen), Eric Singer (Kiss), Dave Grohl (Nirvana & Foo Fighters) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).
Its typical All-American menu draws mainly on hearty American diner-inspired cuisine which includes the hickory barbecue bacon cheeseburger, New York strip steak and fried jumbo shrimp platter. Many of its ingredients, such as the burger beef patty, will be imported.
To ensure that patrons have a good time, a “V.I.B.E host” will basically carry an iPad through the restaurant and approach the tables so that customers and diners can cue up music by requesting a song that we can put on straight away. At the same time, they’ll be checking if everything is fine. In due course, there will be live music at the café, to coincide with the start of the high season.
Hard Rock Cafe Angkor: King’s Road Angkor, 7 Makara, Achar Sva Street, Street 27, Watbo Village, Siem Reap City, Cambodia. Tel: +855 93 565 655. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.