Universal City : Hard Rock Cafe Wins Permit to Sell Liquor

The Hard Rock Cafe was granted a conditional use permit this week by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission to serve liquor at its new restaurant under construction at Universal CityWalk.

Members of the Studio City Residents Assn. and the Cahuenga Pass Property Owners Assn. spoke at the hearing Wednesday against issuance of the county permit, saying there already are too many CityWalk establishments that have liquor permits. However, a representative of the Studio City Chamber of Commerce backed the restaurant’s request.

In granting the permit, the commission imposed several conditions, according to Polly Ward, executive vice president of the Studio City residents group, and James Rees, vice president of operations for Hard Rock America. Conditions include a requirement that food sales exceed revenues from the sale of alcoholic beverages and that liquor be sold for consumption on the premises only.


However, the panel granted the restaurant permission to serve liquor until 2 a.m. despite objections by the Studio City residents’ group, which wanted the eatery to stop selling drinks at midnight. The Hard Rock Cafe also will be allowed to have as many as four pinball machines.

In an unrelated incident, a fire broke out at the restaurant on Wednesday but caused minimal damage, said Rees, who explained that some insulation in the eatery’s dome-shaped roof caught fire, possibly from soldering or welding work.