Rantz: Hard Rock Café closing in Seattle boggles the mind

Oct 3, 2023, 5:55 PM

Hard Rock Seattle...

From left, singer/guitarist Nathan Williams, drummer Brian Hill and bassist Stephen Pope of Waves perform during an EndSession hosted by 107.7 The End at the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Hard Rock Café announced it’s closing its downtown Seattle location. I’m as confused as you are. Frankly, it doesn’t make any sense.

The restaurant and live music space opened downtown in 2010, steps away from Pike Place Market. When it originally opened, Hard Rock Café was seen as a positive development for downtown’s culture. It would help Seattle thrive by attracting live music fans and tourists. And with its closure, expected to happen on December 1, 66 people will lose their jobs.

According to KING 5, a spokesperson for Hard Rock Café did not explain why they’re closing down. And while some will speculate, let’s be clear: You won’t be able to make sense of this decision.

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It boggles the mind!

Ask any white, progressive, Seattle voter, and they’ll confirm: Seattle is thriving! There’s no legitimate reason for the Hard Rock Café to struggle.

Sure, the city is on pace to see an all-time high number of homicides, but what big city doesn’t see this kind of crime? I mean, is it that big of a deal? Surely, it’s a price we’re willing to pay in order to implement so-called “radical” ideas where we keep criminals out of jail. They may reoffend because of our soft-on-crime policies, but the criminal justice system is oppressive to criminals and we can’t have that, can we?

It’s also unfair to blame rampant homelessness on the streets surrounding the Hard Rock Café. Stop demonizing and stigmatizing them! Does the stench of urine so intense that you can taste it mean you can’t enjoy a meal at the restaurant? Seattleites will order a Bud Light to show support for an anti-science position on gender fluidity; that beer tastes of urine anyway, so why complain?

One X user posted that he saw a homeless man smear feces on the property and “scream hysterically about a missing bicycle.” Talk about lacking culture. We call this “unsolicited creative fecal expression” in Seattle. Show some respect for the arts.

Will you have to walk around a few passed-out homeless people blocking the sidewalks on your walk up to the restaurant? Okay, fine, but that’s part of our urban charm. All big cities have some homeless people. Stop trying to criminalize poverty — you’re showing your privilege. Instead, offer them an Oat Milk Latte from the nearby, struggling local coffee shop and be sure to document yourself on social media as you offer the delicious beverage to the homeless person. Post a selfie with him or her on Instagram and you’ve done your part to solve the problem of homelessness. #HeroSavingHomelessLivesOneLatteAtATime.

And before you blame the open-air drug markets that surround the Hard Rock Café, understand this: There’s nothing more rock-n-roll than drugs! Stop being a narc, man.

Actually, this is great news!

Even though I can’t understand why Hard Rock Café was struggling, it’s probably a good thing for it to go.

First of all, it’s a chain restaurant — a sad and unsavory result of culinary capitalism. Do we really need a chain restaurant in downtown to attract tourists? In fact, let’s close the Target next door, too. Have you visited lately? They’ve put most of the store’s products behind lock and key, making it nearly impossible to shoplift. They have zero respect for our neighbors experiencing rooflessness and housing insecurity who need to steal an iPad, laundry detergent, and fiber gummies to survive.

Second of all, we’re in dire need of housing. We could turn that lot into an affordable housing project that we turn over to the local homeless to run. We give them control of funding and policy at the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, so why wouldn’t they be able to handle all that comes with running an affordable housing complex? They’re just like me and you — they were one missed paycheck away from becoming homeless. Stop pretending they’re drug addicts or dealing with mental illness.

Finally, let’s be honest: they probably closed down just to give a talking point to Fox News about Seattle being a dangerous hellscape. It’s obviously why Target in Ballard, Nike, Sneaker City, Amazon Go on Fifth Avenue, Columbia Sportswear, Bed Bath and Beyond, half of Pacific Place mall shops, and a few hundred others closed. There’s a cabal of conservative business owners destroying their own businesses to generate bad press for Seattle. Capitalists are evil, am I right? We had one business open in downtown during the so-called “crime crisis” so obviously, things are looking great for downtown Seattle.

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Rantz: Hard Rock Café closing in Seattle boggles the mind