Iceland Mag

2 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Hard Rock Café denied permission to open a restaurant in downtown Reykjavík

By Staff

  • Stopped by zoning regulations Hard Rock Café would have pushed the share of restaurants, bars and cafés downtown above the permitted 50%. Photo/Hard Rock Café

Reykjavík City has rejected request to open a Hard Rock Café in Lækjargata street in downtown Reykjavík. The restaurant had been scheduled to open shortly after new-years.


The building Hard Rock wants to open here.  Photo/Róbert/Vísir

The local newspaper Morgunblaðið reports that Hard Rock Café was denied the permit based on the fact that too many restaurants, cafés and bars are already in the city centre. No more than 50% of street-level storefronts in the area can be taken by establishments selling food or beverages. With the addition of Hard Rock Café in Lækjargata this would have risen to 53%. However, Morgunblaðið reports that the city is currently looking into revising its goals for the mix of development in the area.

Read more: Hard Rock Café to return to Reykjavík with a downtown restaurant

The opening of the new Hard Rock Café marks the return of the popular restaurant chain to Iceland and Reykjavík. In 1987 a Hard Rock Café was opened in the Kringla shopping mall by local restaurateur Tómas Tómasson. Tómas later withdrew from the operation of Hard Rock Café. He now operates a global hamburger franchise, Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar. The Hard Rock Café remained open in Kringlan until 2005, when it closed down.


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