Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg is Moving to Pigeon Forge

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For Mother’s Day weekend, my family took me into Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a spring wildflower hunt, with plans to end our trip at Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg. So, while I was stomping through creeks and sauntering down wayside trails with my sweet boys and husband, I had two things on my mind– the elusive Pink Lady Slipper, and the almost as rare (in my experience) Hard Rock Cafe Classic Burger.

To my utter surprise, I found my Pink Lady Slipper, and it was almost as thrilling as the first time I was lucky enough to see Orca and Humpback Whales in the wild. Isn’t she a beaut?!

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Some other wild sights from our creek stomp and forest romp in search of wildflowers…

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Foamflower

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Stepping stones.

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Wild Blue Phlox

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Smoky Mountain stream.

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Squawroot

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A harsh winter means a setback to hemlock adelgid infestation. Woo hoo!

A Hard Rock Cafe burger happens to be my favorite on the planet, with its flame broiled patty and toasted bun, cooked to medium-well with Swiss cheese added. Fortunately, there are many Hard Rock Cafes around, so I’ve been able to enjoy this most delicious treat in Orlando, Boston, Honolulu, Key West, and Gatlinburg. But I felt a little panicked when we were seated at the end of our forest romp with tall glasses of cool drinks to hear from our Gatlinburg HRC waiter that the restaurant was closing. I mentally ran through the cities within driving distance of my home, trying to remember if they had Hard Rock Cafes before he could tell us that it was just moving down the road to Pigeon Forge, not shutting its doors forever. Though I’ve enjoyed my Orlando and Key West branches, I would miss being able to get my hands on my favorite cheeseburger just over the mountains.

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That was close! Another 15 minutes down the road, with the exception of Rod Run weekends which can stall a Tennessee mountain road trip for hours, isn’t going to make that much a difference. As it is, I only indulge in the classic burger made my way every few years. But at least I’ll know it’s still close by when I get a hankerin’.

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Mike, our friendly, knowledgeable waiter, informed us that even if we were familiar with the musical decor of the Gatlindburg HRC, we should take a look around because it was unknown if the memorabilia that was currently being displayed would move with the cafe, or if the new building would house different items. So I took my camera on a little tour.

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Led Zeppelin

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Johnny Cash

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The King

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Whatever happened to Velvet Revolver?

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Kiss

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Cheap Trick

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Beck

BonJoviwtrmk Bang a drum. Bang it loudly ~ Bon Jovi

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My favorite drum banger, Rick Allen of Def Leppard.

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My boys each chose a patch for their boxes of “special things” with the Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg name on them, to remind them of the HRC they grew up enjoying.

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I will miss driving through town and seeing the big guitar.

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And, because the restaurant closed yesterday, we will never see these shiny doors open to welcome us again.

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But, hey! The new Pigeon Forge opening means we will never have to pay $4 to park a half a mile away just for a cheeseburger. Though that cheeseburger has always been worth the effort.

The new Hard Rock Cafe will be located near Wonderworks and The Titanic Museum at:

2050 Parkway

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

 

Phone: 1-865-430-7625

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