Today, Hard Rock Cafe International (http://www.hardrock.com) is unveiling the new look and nightclub atmosphere of its newly redesigned Chicago cafe with an event featuring a performance by multi-platinum recording artist Tonic, famous for their latest hits, "Sugar", "If You Could Only See" and "Open Up Your Eyes." The Chicago redesign embodies the company's strategy to offer the ultimate music experience and bring Hard Rock Cafe into the 21st Century, looking ahead to the company's 30th anniversary next year. Future redesigns are planned for Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Atlanta among others in the next 12 months. Hard Rock Cafe enjoys 92% brand awareness worldwide, and is the only theme restaurant that continues to maintain excellent financial performance.

"The new redesign of Hard Rock Cafe Chicago represents an evolution of what Hard Rock Cafe will be in the future," said Pete Beaudrault, president and COO of Hard Rock Cafe International. "The renovation of Hard Rock Cafe Chicago will not only continue to celebrate Hard Rock Cafe's music-centric roots, but also turn its eye on the present, and future, of music, fashion and design."

Hard Rock Cafe, with recent reported sales up 5% and operating profits up 18%, is repositioning the company back to its music roots with a modern spin by providing the ultimate music experience to its guests through online and offline channels, including the development of proprietary music properties, the redesign of several of its cafes and extended night club hours/format and the development of additional hotels and casinos. The brand strategy also includes a newly redesigned web site, new lines of fashion merchandise, redesigned retail shops, and an extended focus on presenting live music events and concerts, such as Hard Rock Cafe Rockfest, Hard Rock Live venues, TV broadcasts and live shows from Hard Rock Cafes throughout the world.

Hard Rock Cafe recently signed an agreement with Music Choice, the world's largest programmer of commercial-free digital music, to produce concerts for the Music Choice OnStage 2001 series. Through the alliance, Hard Rock Cafe will produce up to 24 concerts at Hard Rock Live and Hard Rock Cafe locations for Music Choice's free cable-exclusive concert series which is distributed on the Music Choice national network of cable affiliates.

"Our strategy is to expand the Hard Rock brand name beyond our core restaurant business and not only further enhance the experience our 27 million annual guests have identified with Hard Rock for the past thirty years, but also extend our reach to new audiences," Beaudrault added.

About the new Hard Rock Cafe Chicago

The new Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, designed by interior designer Jeffrey Beers, renowned for China Grill worldwide, Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World, encompasses 13,500 square feet with indoor seating for 350 customers throughout the cafe and bar area. The new cafe will be an entertainment venue, as well as a restaurant, and will showcase local, regional and national bands in a new late nightclub atmosphere.

The Chicago location's new signature element is the "Tower of Power" -- a thrilling mix of steel, glass, video monitors, and glowing liquor bottles that radiates 17' high from the circular main bar at the center of the space, pulsing with light and energy. The centerpiece also features 64 monitors that will broadcast a mix of music, graphics, live concerts, and entertainment events.

Another major focus of the Chicago redesign is the new presentation of Hard Rock Cafe's music memorabilia. The new cafe's memorabilia displays pay homage to rock icons and showcases new artists within the same displays to show how they were influenced by these earlier legends. Hard Rock Cafe's world-renowned music memorabilia collection currently includes 63,000 pieces valued at more than $31 million. Memorabilia from past and present artists include Bob Marley, Stone Temple Pilots, Marilyn Manson, Bjork and Buck Cherry.

The new Chicago cafe's re-designed retail store will continue to offer popular Hard Rock merchandise including tee shirts, hats and jackets showcasing the Chicago city name.

Hard Rock Cafe Chicago is open Monday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 12 a.m., and Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. The bar area and merchandise store will stay open one hour after the restaurant closes. Nightclub hours begin at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, 11 p.m. on Fridays and midnight on Saturdays. Nightclub hours are subject to change depending on performance/concert schedule.

Hard Rock Cafe, one of the most globally recognized music and entertainment brands, has a network of 105 signature Hard Rock Cafes in 38 countries and a music memorabilia collection worth in excess of $31 million. Known for collectible and fashion merchandise, live concerts, Hard Rock Live performance venues, Hard Rock Cafe Rockfest, the Hard Rock Records music label, hardrock.com and Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos. Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based The Rank Group Plc (Nasdaq: RANKY). For more information on Hard Rock Cafe events, visit www.hardrock.com.