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Jessica Sutta (PussyCat Dolls)
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Hard Rock Cafe Darling Harbour Media And Celebs Event; Sydney, Australia by Eva Rinaldi

The world famous Hard Rock Cafe has returned to ‘Sin City’ Sydney with a vengeance, based on tonight’s launch event at the brand new Darling Harbour venue.

Hard Rock put on quite a show and rolled out the celebrities and live music including: Hamish Dodds, Matt Sorum, Dave Rich, DJ Lethal, Stan Walker, Angry Anderson, L Huntly, Sarah McLoed, Hamish Rosser, Altiyan Childs, Kris Peterson and Stim McLean. Most of them had turns smashing guitars, which is a trademark of opening new Hard Rock Cafes.

We all know that the cost of living and setting up a business in Sydney is considerable, but Hard Rock is certain their latest Australian venture will be a smashing (as in guitar) success. Sydney is one of the busiest markets anywhere globally for the Hard Rock Cafe, says the global chief of the music-themed burgers and ribs franchise.

Hamish Dodds, prez and chief exec of Hard Rock International, advised staffing costs down under in Australia make Hard Rock’s Sydney operations expensive compared with other global locations, and they are comparing to its other 172 venues which include cafes, hotels and even land based casinos. Yes, casinos, but Australia’s The Star and Crown Casino need not worry, as they have no plans for gaming in Australia – at least not any they are talking about.

Hard Rock International is owned by the well known and respected Seminole American Indian tribe, which purchased the global Hard Rock brand in 2007 after successfully running two Hard Rock hotel and casino operations in Florida in the U.S.

"For us this is an English-speaking country and people understand the history of rock," Mr Dodds said in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of the grand opening of the 500-seat venue in the Darling Harbour entertainment hotbed.

"Part of the downside of this market is it’s a mature economy – staffing costs in this market are very different to what we would experience in India.

"I would say the price mark-up here is about 50 per cent higher than the US – this is probably one of the most expensive markets we have in our portfolio."

Mr Dodds advised the Sydney Hard Rock Cafe was priced at a similar level to comparable restaurants in the area and he expected business to be brisk, averaging between 300 to 700 main meals a day.

Sydney would be among the top ten performers in the global network, he said, and among the top five of franchised outlets.

Tonight signified a return to Sydney for the Hard Rock franchise, which closed its previous venue in East Sydney in 2007.

Mr Dodds said Hard Rock had returned to Sydney with a revised and smarter strategy.

He said the former business was in a great location for the 1980s when the brand was fresh and people would go to the Hard Rock Cafe.

"Copycats harmed Hard Rock’s own business and the market changed to the point where we found ourselves in a B minus location and to a degree we lost a bit of relevance", Mr Dodds said.

The firm bought back its Sydney franchise in 2007 and has been revived by director and franchise holder Lennie Huntly, former GM of the Sydney business during the 90s.

Mr Huntly, who also holds the franchise for the Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise, said he had been thinking about re-opening a Sydney Hard Rock Cafe since the last one closed.

The waterfront location and views over Darling Harbour are a huge plus and soon a live music stage and 600-person music area will be rocking and rolling.

"We are focused on not only being about lunch and dinner," he said.

Mr Huntly also has the rights to open venues in Melbourne, Cairns and Perth. Melbourne’s former venue closed in 2007, but that doesn’t mean it will return with a hit.

Well done to the good folks at Hard Rock Cafe and we look forward to meeting up with the great guys and girls there again soon. Rock on.


Hard Rock Cafe International

Darling Harbour official website

Guns and Roses

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Music News Australia

Miranda Kerr, Collette Dinnigan
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Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
InStyle Women Of Style Awards: Red Carpet Awards Evening; Supermodel Miranda Kerr and friends

It was another big night for Australian fashion, following on from last weeks Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

There was lots of talk tonight about the added boost to security to help protect the goody bags. Another major focus point was the attendance of supermodel Miranda Kerr.

It’s understood that The Voice mentor Megan Washington pointed to her at as the person she’d most been looking forward to seeing.

"I heard that looking at her is like looking into the sun so I’m eager to find out if that’s the truth or not."

Kerr, in a pale blue colour Zampatti dress, low cut at the back and front, told media she was excited to be among the nominees.

"It’s really special because I’m nominated for Kora Organics for the beauty awards and I’ve really put my heart and soul into (it)… so to be recognised for that is really special for me."

The Voice franchise was also represented by mentor Ricki-Lee Coulter, in a black and silver Sass & Bide maxi dress, and advised she was pleased with her time on the Nine Network show but is still keeping in touch.

"I’m always on hand for any contestant on team Seal. I let them know if they ever need a hand they can get to me any time they want," she said.

Celebs from many walks attending including Asher Keddie, Layne Beachley, Nikki Gemmell, Kate Ritchie and Miranda Otto.

Lara Bingle turned up late, with speculation that she may have been looking to avoid some of Sydney’s least favourite photographers. Yes, not all media and photographers are as nice as us guys and girls.

Well done to everyone involved in tonight’s ultra successful fashion event.


SYDNEY, May 15, 2012: InStyle, in association with Audi, hosted the fourth annual Women of Style Awards at Carriageworks on Tuesday May 15.

The InStyle and Audi Women of Style Awards honour Australia’s most inspirational and innovative women, across nine fields, including: business, arts/culture, charity/community, beauty, lifestyle, environment, design, fashion and news/entertainment:

WHO: Kerrie McCallum (editor, InStyle), Miranda Kerr, Miranda Otto, Asher Keddie, Collette Dinnigan, Layne Beachley, Sally Obermeder, Erika Heynatz, Jodhi Meares, Kate Ritchie, Melissa Doyle, Kylie Gillies, Lara Bingle, Rachael Finch, Brooke Satchwell, Jessica Rowe, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Tim Ross, Sophie Falkiner, Nicola Finetti, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Saskia Burmeister, Jan Logan, Nikki Gemmell, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, Louise Olsen, Jana Wendt, Krystal Barter, Alyssa McClelland, Gillian Armstrong, Camilla Freeman-Topper, Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson (Easton Pearson), Bianca Spender, Jodi Gordon, Alex Perry, Josh Flinn, Lisa Ho, Samantha Harris, Emma Freedman, Charlotte Dawson, April Rose Pengilly, Gail Elliot and Joe Coffey, Lizzy Lovette, Fleur Wood, Marnie Skillings, Natarsha Belling, Alice Burdeu, Rachel Gilbert, Tom Williams, Krew Boylan, Samantha Armytage, Jesinta Campbell, Ann Sanders, Sarah Cumming, Indira Naidoo, Donna Hay, Lally Katz, Nicolette Fraillon, Lorna Jane Clarkson, Kate Weiss, Diana Williams, Abigail Forsyth, Tanya Ha, Natalie Isaacs, Blainey North, Caroline Pidcock, Rebecca Morrice Williams, Belinda Fraser and Melanie Gleeson (Endota Spa).

“The InStyle and Audi Women of Style Awards event is the country’s premier evening to honour the achievements of outstanding Australian women who have the innovation and commitment to succeed and excel in their field of expertise,” comments Kerrie McCallum, editor, InStyle.


InStyle Australia

Pacific Magazines


Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography


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