Hard Rock Café at IAH Celebrates “Smashing” Opening
HOUSTON — With a bang — or, more accurately, a “smash” — the Houston Airport System, Hard Rock International and SSP America celebrated the official grand opening of the new location for the Hard Rock Café restaurant and shop in Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on July 12, 2017.
Capping the rollout of an expansive and exciting new lineup of dining and shopping choices at Bush Airport, representatives from the airport system, Hard Rock International and operator and manager, SSP America, were on hand and capped the celebration with a ceremonial “guitar smash.”
“We are thrilled to include Hard Rock Café in the new and exciting choices customers have for shopping and dining now at Bush Airport,’ said Randy Goodman, Director of Concessions for the Houston Airport System. “They bring an established, recognized brand both in merchandise and food, and are a good fit in our efforts to elevate our food and retail choices at the airport.”
With venues in 75 countries, including 176 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos, and, now, two airports, Hard Rock International is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website.
“Hard Rock has been looking forward to opening its second location in Houston after many successful years of operating in this iconic city,” said Mike Liedberg, Area Vice President of Cafe Operations North America West. “We could not have asked for a better location to showcase our unique dining experience.”
The location at Bush Airport is the second in an airport in North America, and adds to SSP Group’s record of success, with an estimated 2,200 restaurants across approximately 140 airports and 280 rail stations representing over 400 of the world’s best brands.
“SSP America continues to experience strong growth throughout North America, and we’re particularly pleased to open this Hard Rock Café unit in addition to our larger portfolio of restaurants at Bush Airport,” said Michael Svagdis Chief Executive Officer, SSP America. “It’s certainly a portfolio that lives up to our overriding vision — our passion for bringing cool, authentic restaurants to airports throughout North America. We thank our local partners for their collaboration and hard work to get this restaurant open and we particularly are grateful for the hard work of our own employees who I know will serve the Bush Airport passengers with passion.”
As part of the celebration, Hard Rock International and SSP America donated 10 guitars to United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS) branch in Houston. U.S. VETS is committed to the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. Founded in 1998, U.S.VETS-Houston currently has a location in Midtown and a service center in downtown Houston. U.S.VETS-Houston serves over 500 veterans daily.
“US Veterans Initiative-Houston serves more than 1,250-1,500 vets daily throughout Harris County,” said Tom Mitchell, M.A., Executive Director, U.S. VETS-Houston. “We couldn’t be more excited for the donation by SSP of these guitars to the program, as our veterans who have musical interests and talents will cherish these acoustical guitars.”