Hard Rock Cafe Aruba Opens

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba
Final hand on inaugural day at Hard Rock Aruba

Tonight Hard Rock Cafe Aruba opens to the general public. It looks pretty cool. Yesterday there was an invite-only opening – which was jammed packed – while today it opens to the general public and is expected to be equally jammed packed.

After a few months of setup and training Hard Rock Cafe Aruba is open for business. The setup and details went on all the way to the end. It’s amazing to see how close they cut these things with the inauguration. Earlier today they were still painting and landscaping. More preparation pictures after the jump.

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba is located at South Beach Centre in the heart of Palm Beach. It’s located near resorts Radisson and Occidental Grand, also near Daniel’s Steak & Chop and Sopranos. Hard Rock Cafe is on the most anticipated arrivals to Aruba in a long time. Visit the Hard Rock Cafe Aruba page for more information.

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba
Principal bar at Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba
Principal bar with view of the terras seating

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba
The vintage Hard Rock logo store

Hard Rock Cafe Aruba Coming Soon

Hard Rock Cafe coming to Aruba
Site of future Hard Rock Cafe Aruba

Finally, Hard Rock Cafe is coming to Aruba. After many years of anticipation finally Hard Rock Cafe is opening an establishment in Aruba. Normally I don’t get excited with “yet another development” in Aruba, however, this one is different. I’ve visited Hard Rock Cafes in Caracas, Amsterdam and Rome and always had a blast.

Hard Rock Cafes franchises don’t open abundantly, as they seem to have some steep requirements. Initial investments range between $3 million to $5 million for instance. Hard Rock Cafes are exclusive. In the Caribbean there are only 5 islands with a Hard Rock Cafe: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic (Punta Cana and Santo Domingo), Jamaica and Puerto Rico. More images after the jump.

Depending on the size of the establishment and perhaps pricing, I believe Hard Rock Cafe Aruba is going to become the place to be. Hard Rock is opening fall of 2008, according to the board, meanwhile the website says it’s opening winter of 2008. Oh well, not much difference. On a related note, someone within the South Beach Centre development confirmed to me today that this mall is opening its doors later this year. Hard Rock Cafe is going to be a homerun for South Beach Centre, I’m guessing. (Thanks Mark).

Update: Hard Rock Cafe Aruba has since opened. Please visit: Hard Rock Cafe Aruba Opens


Nearby Hard Rock Cafe Margarita, Venezuela [image by Hard Rock Cafe]


Hard Rock Cafe mini-announcement [image by Hard Rock Cafe]

A List: Eating American Fast Food

Fast Food Aruba
Since the mid-80’s the first American franchise restaurant opened its doors in Aruba. In this case it was McDonald’s which had the honor. These fast food restaurants were an instant success in Aruba. Not only visitors accepted the newest addition to Aruba’s variety of restaurants, but locals accepted the formula as well.

Throughout the years more and more franchises opened and the ever growing list of restaurants keeps growing. The latest franchise restaurants to open in Aruba are Quiznos Sub and TGI Fridays.

Franchises don’t come without criticism though. Some people murmur about Aruba losing its island ways and it vastly becoming like any American place. Especially some other islands in the Caribbean use that fact in their promotional campaigns. Regardless anyone’s point of view, fact of the matter is that there are many of those restaurants in Aruba.

These franchises have something that, I must admit, local restaurants lack: convenience and price. Aruba has a rich and wide variety of restaurants, but not very convenient when in a hurry. Nevertheless, below you’ll find the list of franchise restaurants currently present in Aruba.

The list:

  • Baskin-Robbins
  • Burger King
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • KFC
  • McDonald’s
  • Papa John’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Ruth’s Chris
  • Sbarro
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • TGI Fridays
  • Tony Roma’s
  • Quiznos Sub
  • Wendy’s

Daniel’s Steak & Chop/Gianni’s

Earlier in the evening, as a celebration to my birthday, I went dining with the family at Daniel’s Steak & Chop/Gianni’s. Why is there a slash between the two restaurants, you ask? The two restaurants are located at the same building, which is across Radisson Hotel at Palm Beach. In fact, both restaurants share one kitchen.

We decided to go without making any reservations. Upon arrival there was a noticeable lack of parking space, which generally means two things: maybe we should have made reservations and the restaurant must be good!

My wife wanted to eat at Gianni’s, despite it being my birthday, I let her pick the restaurant. When we inquired for seating they told us that Gianni’s was full and within one hour they could accommodate us. Instead of waiting, they offered a suggestion. We could be seated at Daniel’s Steak & Chop. Apparently there was one table available, where we would be able to order from a Gianni’s menu. We accepted. Actually, I was pretty happy for this because I really wanted to eat beef and my wife wanted Italian. Continue reading Daniel’s Steak & Chop/Gianni’s

Good Dining Madame Janette

Yesterday I went dining again and this time I decided to go to Madame Janette. I took my family back to this restaurant which is one I always recommend to tourist when asked. I called earlier in the afternoon to make a reservation but it turned out that was unnecessary, there was plenty of space.

Madame Janette is a feeding machine. You come in, they seat you and before you know it you’re eating. We were done in about an hour. While eating there I noticed how many people came and went, this restaurant really knows how to move people.

I’m no food or restaurant critic, but what I can tell you is that the service was good, the food was good and the ambiance was good. Overall a great place to dine. Many people rave about this restaurant except me, I’m not such a raver. Let’s say it’s uhhhm, well, good.

Some details:

  • Distance to Palm Beach about 1.3 miles (2,1 kilometers)
  • Distance to Eagle Beach is about 0.9 miles (1,4 kilometers)
  • Open daily from 6:00 – 10:00 (closed Tuesdays)

Restaurants On The Beach

Flying Fishbone
Picture shows setting at Flying Fishbone

On Aruba there are many restaurants with a beach setting. This means when the tables are on the beach and your bare feet are resting in the white sand.

One of the best restaurants that offer this setting is Flying Fishbone. This restaurant is located at Savaneta. The name of this beach is Savaneta Beach. It is a very quiet beach, with a very calm and relaxing sound of water. This restaurant is located on the south side of the island and is approximately 30 to 45 minutes away from the major resorts.

A closer alternative to the resorts is Simply Fish, located at the Marriott Resort. Nice setting as well.

BBQ-rules On Aruba Beaches

Famous tree at Eagle Beach

Organizing a BBQ at the beach is a very popular activity among locals. Very few tourist actually do this.

What are the rules, if any, regarding BBQ on the beach on Aruba?
This is strictly prohibited.

The reason this is prohibited is because it has happen that when some people are done with the BBQ, they make a hole on the beach and dump the remainder charcoal ashes in the white sand and cover it. This obviously is a big no no.

Officials are very strict with the enforcement of the BBQ-rule. So do not BBQ on the beach. If you want to BBQ at the beach, you need to be off the sand and dispose of ashes in the trash.