That giant guitar hanging off the side of Block E will strum its last chord at the end of this month. The Hard Rock Cafe--part of an international chain of eateries known more for their music memorabilia than their food--had almost a 10 year run, having been one of the complex's first tenants back in 2002.
The Hard Rock brand, founded in the '70s, has lost some of its luster over the years. (I think I had a sweatshirt from the one in Seoul or maybe Hong Kong gifted to me by a well-traveled cousin back when I was in grade school.) But the Star Tribune reports that the Hard Rock's PR firm suggested declining sales did not spur the decision, and, instead, cited "challenges" with the Block E site--possibly alluding to the new owners' recent proposal to redevelop the facility into a luxury casino.
Block E has lost most of its major tenants, including its Hooters, Applebee's, and Panchero's restaurants. Panchero's claimed to have been forced out of its lease, a charge that Block E ownership denies.