Hard Rock Cafe sings: Good-bye Cadillac; Hello Guitar

By Maria Saporta

There’s a new look on Peachtree Street downtown.

The Hard Rock Café Atlanta has just put up a 30-foot neon guitar on the side of its restaurant at the corner of Peachtree and Andrew Young International Boulevard.

Photo taken by Paul Kelman

Photo taken by Paul Kelman

It replaces what had been the Cadillac icons that had hung precariously off the side of the building since November, 1992.

A bit of Atlanta history — which was reported earlier this year by my friend Richard Eldredge (formerly Mr. Peach Buzz with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) — the original black Cadillac was replaced in May 1996 (just before the Summer Olympic Games) with a psychedelic pink and blue Cadillac.

But that new Cadillac crashed onto Peachtree Street an hour later. Fortunately (and perhaps miraculously) no one was hurt.

The Hard Rock Café then brought back the old black Cadillac a month later.

The super-sized guitar is now the new signature for Atlanta’s Hard Rock Café (apparently, Hard Rocks around the country are going the guitar route).

This morning, after the town hall meeting of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, CAP Vice President Paul Kelman and I walked across the street to see workers doing the finishing touches to install the guitar. Kelman graciously took a photo of the guitar and emailed it to me so I could share it with all of you.

Last time I checked, the guitar is still hanging tight on the building.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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