Music-themed cafes eye WA

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Tasty tunes: Kiss frontman Gene Simmons. Picture: Reuters
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Perth's fast-expanding restaurant scene could soon include a string of global music-themed chains, including a franchise backed by Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.

Simmons' Rock and Brews, Hard Rock Cafe and Cafe del Mar have all expressed an interest in expanding into WA.

Hard Rock Cafe and Cafe del Mar have a presence on the east coast but a Perth-based Rock and Brews restaurant would be the franchise's first foray into Australia.

The West Australian understands the groups' interest was prompted by Tourism WA's "destination Perth" strategy, launched in March.

All three groups have lodged expressions of interest in the past two months but it is unclear how advanced their ambitions are.

Cafe del Mar Australia chief executive John Zappia wrote in a letter to Inspire WA director Eric Pearson that the group was “extremely excited” by the success of its Sydney restaurant and wanted to expand.

“Our partners in Spain not only loved our concept and launch but are very happy with our progress to date and are eagerly awaiting our next moves,” he said.

“We are due to start our expansion stage and have already targeted a number of cities along the east coast,” he said.

“WA is very much part of this expansion and we see an operation on the west coast as crucial to our footprint,” he said.

“It will also be the site that stays most true to the original concept from San Antonio Coast in Ibiza with its westerly aspect and its uninterrupted views on the all important sunset. Apart from the flagship sites mentioned above Café del Mar Australian will be launching a number of mini sites in specific coastal locations.”

Hard Rock Cafe Franchisee Australia executive chair Jeffrey Beaumont wrote that the franchise group was eyeing opportunities in Victoria or Queensland but was also interested in Perth, despite the challenges posed by being an eastern seaboard-based operation.

“Our franchise group would be more than happy to explore any relevant and attractive opportunities in support of developing Perth’s visitor economy,” he wrote.

“As one of the world’s leading ‘destination’ brands… we are very much aligned to the vision shared within Destination Perth.”

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