From left: 24 Karat Gold Leaf Burger; nightly entertainment from local bands
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
Iconic Makati resto-bar reopens with 24k gold burger, other treats
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo (Philstar.com) - February 27, 2020 - 10:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — A historic restaurant in Makati City has recently reopened to provide a refreshed entertainment and dining experience in Manila, an official of the restaurant chain told Philstar.com.

After over 20 years in Glorietta, Hard Rock Café Makati closed last 2017. But this February, the resto-bar returns with a new look and global menu.

Now more Instagram-worthy

Apart from being a resto-bar, the space is a mini museum of music legends' memorabilia.
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

Located at the former NBA Store in Glorietta 3, the new Hard Rock still has its merchandise shop on the first floor, with a red-carpeted staircase, fondly called Lava Stairs, leading to the second floor for dining and entertainment.

It now boasts less of its old-world and wooden charm and now sports more modern interiors to cater to anyone from teenagers to retirees, said Malcolm Chao, Area Vice President for Asia Pacific, Hard Rock International.

“We also want to be more mindful of the culture in the market, as seen in the design of the chairs and the walls,” Chao explained.

“Because the Philippines has history with both Spain and America, the Philippines embraces Western culture, which makes it a good fit for our (British) brand.”

The diner has reprised having on its walls its statement slogans and signature memorabilia from Western artists, although plans to include local ones like Arnel Pineda and Eraserheads are also on the pipeline. Music legends, from Madonna to Rita Ora, and from The Who to The Backstreet Boys, have designated walls of fame in the 621-square-meter, 225-seater dining joint.

Among its most prized possessions include the percussion set of John Tempesta, one of the world’s most regarded drummers; the actual guitar of virtuoso guitarist Carlos Santana; a special tee from The Who’s “Tommy” album; and a polo shirt printed with faces from the 400,000 people that attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

New global menu

Counter clockwise from left: California-style Cobb Salad, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Hickory Smoked Ribs and Three Cheese & Roma Tomato Flatbread.
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

Bistro Group is now at the helm of the restaurant’s new menu, which is also in sync with the diner’s S Maison branch opened last year.

Chao said they made sure to enhance their burgers and recipes and change old items. While their signature Legendary Burger is still among their top five bestsellers, he also encourages diners to try their new “aspirational” burger, the 24 Karat Gold Leaf Burger — beef burger topped with 24-karat edible gold leaf, garnished with American cheese, leaf lettuce, tomato and onion, served with French Fries.

24 Karat Gold Leaf Burger
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

In addition to classics like Hickory Smoked Ribs, Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Mango Tango and Filipino favorites like the Sisig, the menu now has more offerings for the health-conscious. These include California-style Cobb Salad, Three Cheese & Roma Tomato Flatbread, Truffle Mushroom Pasta and Spicy Vongole Pasta.

Faithful to its reputation as a party place, the restaurant now presents a longer alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage menu that includes anything from dessert-like milkshakes to summer-ready concoctions like Rockin’ Fresh Rita, Tropical Margarita, Rhythm & Rose Mule, Blackberry Sparkling Sangria, Espresso Martini, Classic Carribean Mojito, Banana Berry Colada and Passion Fruit Mai Tai.

Cocktails, mocktails and milkshakes
Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

‘Battle of the Bands’ reboot

Nightly, the resto-bar’s stage comes alive with performances from local bands like Ice Bucket, Bradley Homes, Highway 54, Kudos Loves 80s, Blast and Spirit of 67, but there are also plans to bring in international acts, said Chao.

Likewise, he revealed that they are reviving their Battle of the Bands, a competition among bands, this year as a platform for Filipino musicians to showcase their talents.

Apart from opening two more branches, Chao shared that they also plan to open merchandise pop-up stores.

“We are excited that we are now back in Glorietta 3! We remain true to what our brand stands for all over the world:  a party haven for fans of music, good food, authentic memorabilia, live entertainment, and the collectibles available at the Rock Shop,” said Brian Peck, Director for Operations of the restaurant chain’s Manila office. 

“The friendly ambiance welcomes our loyal guests as well as the younger set. We want them to feel right at home here.” 

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