Type to search

Latest news

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

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.



  1. Jeff Rearick October 27, 2009 3:25 pm

    This is an awesome addition to Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Just another one of the Texas Airbrush King Paul Johns work of art……Report

  2. Bryan Irwin September 1, 2020 11:29 pm

    I am the proud owner of Atlanta hard rock Cadillac ! Have been doing a full restoration of the car for the past two years ! Will have it finished in a few months ! This car has an incredible story I would love to share with you !
    ! When I get it finished , the first place I’m driving it is back to the Atlanta hard rock for a photo shoot ! Think it would be a great story to cover ! Have lots of pictures as well !
    My contact # is 404-516-8077Report


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.