At Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Denver, the band plays on.
Earlier this month, the Florida-based chain of rock ’n’ roll-themed restaurants settled a lawsuit it filed against its Denver landlord in January in an effort to get out of its lease.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, the restaurant within Denver Pavilions along the 16th Street Mall had been closed for nearly 11 months since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The eatery reopened in June, about 15 months after closing, according to its Facebook page.
As is typical, specifics of the settlement are not outlined in court documents.
Hard Rock operates in 11,736 square feet, which it has leased since 1996.
The chain’s January lawsuit argued that the restaurant should have had the right to terminate its lease come March 2021, when pandemic-related government restrictions on business hit the one-year mark, citing a specific clause in the lease. Hard Rock also alleged it was charged too much for its share of mall common area operating expenses from 2015 to 2019, and was entitled to a refund.
Mall owner Denver Pavilions OwnerCo LLC, an entity affiliated with Denver-based Gart Properties, countersued Hard Rock in March. The landlord said the chain’s challenges predated the coronavirus, and Hard Rock was “using the pandemic as a pretext in a cynical attempt to cut costs company-wide.”
Hard Rock was represented by attorney David Hutchinson of Denver’s Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti.
Stephen Gurr and Zachary Fitzgerald of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner represented Denver Pavilions.