TAMPA, Fla. – The beautiful new 17,500-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe Tampa at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is now open to the public,Tuesday, Dec. 21, after 128 days of 24/7 construction activity and over one million hours of combined effort by more than 350 workers. The continuing local impact will be significant, with 175 people now employed at this incredible new Hard Rock Cafe Tampa. “There’s nothing like this Hard Rock Cafe anywhere, not even Tampa Bay,” said John Fontana, president of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa. “You have to see it to believe it. It’s built to the absolute highest standards in quality; every detail is exquisite and people will be blown away from the second they walk in!” The new Hard Rock Cafe Tampa fuses live music, world-famous American fare, cutting-edge technology, and one-of-a-kind rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia from the 1950’s to today in a new ‘rockcentric’ interior design. It is also the first Hard Rock Cafe in the world to feature gaming, with a Hard Rock Girl blackjack pit, go-go dancers, and “dealer-tainers” at all four of its blackjack tables.With a capacity for 700 standing guests, the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa entertainment schedule will really go into high gear on New Year’s Eve when Sister Hazel performs at 10:45, followed by DJ Rockstar and Chris Craze at 1 a.m. Comedian Ralph Harris will bring his stand-up act on Jan. 17 at 9 p.m., and it was recently announced that Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts will perform on Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. As well, the best local bands will play there Thursdays through Saturdays 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., followed by resident DJ, Chris Craze, from 1 a.m. until 4 a.m. The local line-up through January includes Roberto DeBourg & The Flats, Sweet Spot, Jeremy Thomas Band, Kings County, and Pocket Change.On January 12, 2011 all eyes will be on Tampa Bay as the Cafe will be the scene of an exciting, star-studded celebrity red carpet celebration marking its official launch. An exciting national rock ‘n’ roll band to be announced will perform at 9 p.m. for a private concert on the venue’s state-of-the-art stage. Later that night, a celebrity DJ plus more celebrities soon to be announced will follow at 11:30 p.m. The celebration will last until closing at 4 a.m.There are three primary entertainment areas in the new Hard Rock Cafe: Table seating surrounding the elevated stage where the best of local and national acts will perform; The main Hard Rock Cafe bar (one of three bars) opposite the stage highlighted by a dramatic multi-media canopy overarching the bar and thrusting out to the bi-level restaurant 371-seating area; and a open display kitchen with a unique “burger butcher shop” and a Rock Shop® featuring Hard Rock’s limited-edition merchandise. The Cafe also has an outdoor patio and 11-seat bar with seating for 28 restaurant guests. Hard Rock Cafe’s “Legendary Experience” menu has something delicious for everyone on it. Guests can enjoy a selection of Hard Rock’s world-famous, freshly prepared 10-ounce Certified Angus Beef Legendary Burgers, including the locally inspired 1880 Ybor City Burger. Its BBQ menu items use the very best Hickory wood chips to slowly cook ribs, chicken and pork to juicy, tender perfection. And Hard Rock Cafe Tampa will offer menu options from Martorano’s Italian restaurant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood such as their Fried Eggplant Stack: eggplant, fresh mozzarella cheese, marinated tomato, arugula salad, stacked and topped with balsamic drizzle. Hard Rock Cafe’s extensive, award-winning drink menu includes the Tampa house specialty Hurricanes, classics with a twist, signature favorites, “Alternative Rock” (alcohol free) beverages and more, all available in Hard Rock Cafe souvenir collectible glassware. Of course, the new Hard Rock Cafe Tampa also features rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia from Hard Rock International’s unmatched collection. However, new and very innovative technology offers guests touch screen access to Hard Rock’s memorabilia and merchandise, and even allows them to vote on which music video plays next in the Cafe. Hard Rock International will beta test new products and presentation equipment at the Tampa Cafe before rolling it out to Hard Rock locations worldwide.Located at 5223 North Orient Road, Tampa, Fla. 33610, in the northwest corner of the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa’s casino complex, Hard Rock Cafe Tampa was designed by Klai Juba Architects, Las Vegas. Interior design was created by 555 Design Fabrication Management of Chicago, who focused on every unique “rockcentric” architectural detail such as 6-foot diameter chandeliers fabricated from interior speaker cones, wall niches containing crystal LED lights, hanging light fixtures made of stacked drum cymbals, and thousands of guitar amplifier cords strung together and hung as modern art beside the band shell stage.