Hard Rock Vault

The Vault - Hard Rock Cafe Vault


Useful Information

Location: 1 Old Park Lane, London W1K 1QZ
Open: All year daily 11:30-22:30.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaVault
Light: electric.
Dimension:
Guided tours: D=15min
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Hard Rock Cafe, 150 Old Park Lane, (Corner of Park Lane), London W1K 1QZ, Tel: +44-20-7514-1700.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

14-JUN-1971 first Hard Rock Cafe opened by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton.
1979 Eric Clapton asked Isaac Tigrett to hang his guitar over his favourite bar stool to ‘mark his spot’.

Description

The London Hard Rock Cafe is located at 150 Old Park Lane on the corner to Park Lane in Mayfair. On the opposite side of the road, 1 Old Park Lane, is The Rock Shop where merchandise is sold. This building was formerly a branch of Coutts Bank, and the vault in the basement was still intact. In the cellar is the vault of the bank, once used to store personal valuables of the Queen. And Princess Diana tried on her wedding dress inside the vault, at least this statement is found on various webpages about the vault. We dont believe a moment, Diana went to the cellar of an American restaurant to try her top secret wedding dress. And actually the homepage of the Hard Rock Cafe does not mention Diana, only the valuables of the Queen.

This is actually the Hard Rock Cafe, the very first which was ever opened. Two Americans in London, Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, were yearning for a decent hamburger. I think that's the first time I used decent and hamburger in the same sentence, but nevertheless, their desire was so great, they decided to open a diner in London themselves. And it was an instant success, the place was ideal for the early 70s Mayfair It-Crowd.

The next step was - according to legend - caused by a regular named Eric Clapton. He asked Isaac Tigrett to hang his guitar over his favourite bar stool to "mark his spot". Pete Townsend heard this and sent the restaurant one of his guitars with the note: “Mine’s as good as his! Love, Pete”. And so the collection started. And of course the the typical style of the restaurant with rock memorabilia all over.

In the vault below the first restaurant lies the most important and most expensive part of the collection. More than 200 items with a total value of more than GBP 500 Million. By the way, the whole collection has over 80,000 items, which are distributed over more than 200 restaurant in 75 countries. We tried to mention some items from the vault, but the only way to do so is probably a list. So here it is:

And actually this is not a museum. It is just the vault of the restaurant and a visit is free for any customer or non-customer. Just go to the shop and ask the staff. Obviously there are only guided tours, would be a bad idea to leave a fan unsupervised in this place. The tours are made as needed, but normally you wont wait longer than 15 minutes.

And one last thing: the guitars of Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend are not in the vault! They still hang above the bar at the Hard Rock Cafe.