Hard Rock Cafe becomes latest business to shutter Seattle location amid rising crime

The city has begun drawing comparisons to San Francisco which has seen businesses fleeing the downtown core.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Seattle’s downtown Hard Rock Cafe will close in December as more retailers flee the area. 66 workers will be out of a job before the year’s end.

The company wrote in a statement to KING 5, “Since the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle in 2010, Hard Rock International has enjoyed serving the Seattle community and playing a role in the city’s celebrated dining culture.”

The company, which will shutter its Seattle location on Dec. 1, did not give a reason why they were closing the location but added that they are expanding in 50 locations over the next five years, and are open to having another location in the Emerald City if the right space can be found. 

When the restaurant and bar opened in 2010 was “…celebrated as a positive sign for the city’s downtown,” according to The Seattle Times.

The news comes on the heels of Target announcing they will be closing two of their Seattle locations in response to theft and organized retail crime.

The flagship Nike store that had been a Seattle icon since 1996 closed its doors in January.
In June, Amazon Go shuttered locations downtown due to underperformance.

Some smaller, minority and family-owned businesses have also announced closures.

The city has begun drawing comparisons to San Francisco which has seen businesses fleeing the downtown core.

Crime has spiked in Seattle following the city council’s decision to defund the police in 2020. The Seattle Police Department is operating far below the safe limits of deployable officers for a city its size following the exodus of over 600 officers.

Last month, the Emerald City flew past last year’s total number of homicides, which has increased 7 percent in the first half of 2023, on track to beat the all-time high of homicides. Seattle was one of 10 cities to report an increase, even as other cities saw a decline during the same time period. Seattle's King County is also on track to have another year of record homicides.

According to King 5, Seattle police received 13,103 calls from the top 100 retail locations in the city in 2022, and responding to those calls required over 18,000 officer hours, which is equal to the annual workload of nine full-time patrol officers.
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