A representative for the Hard Rock Café has confirmed that the Block E location is scheduled to close on Sept. 30. “We have run a successful business in Minneapolis, but the current site has created challenges that prevent us from continuing to operate at this location,” said a Hard Rock International PR representative in a prepared statement. The closure of the 9,000 square foot restaurant is another blow for the struggling complex, which current owner Alatus LLC wants to redevelop into a casino called “Minnesota Live.”
“Our strategy over the past year and a half has been to reposition and re-tenant the building. We continue to work towards a revitalized Block E, contribute to a successful Hennepin Avenue, and carefully and methodically determine the best possible uses for the site,” said Phillip Jaffe, partner at Alatus LLC.
In addition to the Hard Rock, the Cold Stone Creamery franchise across from the movie theater has also closed. With its closure, the only remaining tenants on the complex’s second floor are a GameStop location and a Mrs. Fields Cookies franchise. Panchero’s Mexican Grill closed in April, and the Applebee’s shut down in late March. Legislation to allow the expansion of gambling into downtown Minneapolis was not voted upon before the end of the legislative session, and Alatus has thus far revealed no other plans for Block E.