The first restaurant opened in 1961, believe it or not.
If you ever find yourself in a Hard Rock Cafe, you must order yourself a vanilla milkshake; they are fantastic. Other than that, though, these places have few redeeming qualities. The food is mediocre (and overpriced), the music is shockingly bad, and the utter lack of any real appreciation for rock and roll is just appalling. For example, the Niagara location (there because Niagara is so well known for its rock scene) has a guitar signed by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The plaque under the guitar reads "Trent Resnor". I guess there's a bit of campy delight in it, but the whole place just made me want to go home and listen to some real music.