THE hugely-anticipated Hard Rock Cafe in Newcastle and the first to open in the region has been unveiled for the first time today.
The brand new venue on Newcastle's Quayside was finally revealed after more than three-and-a-half years since plans were first made.
The Northern Echo had a look around the new name hoping to make history in the North-East as further details ahead of its grand opening were announced.
It comes as the restaurant, which is housed in the Grade-I listed Guildhall building, recently confirmed plans to open as restrictions were eased.
Steeped in North-East music memorabilia, the Hard Rock Cafe in Newcastle is set over two floors with enough space to seat 180 people.
With its very own 'Whey Aye Burger,' the venue is set to impress with its twist of cuisine from across the pond, while serving up cocktails and drinks.
Speaking to The Echo, Mark Grey, the general manager of Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle, said interest had been "overwhelming" over the past few months.
He said: "We’re pleased to have been able to show it off today, to show off what we will have on offer.
"We’re really excited, hopefully we get to open this week and from then on, it’s going to be all guns blazing.
"The response we’ve had is amazing – it’s been overwhelming. We’re on track and we can’t wait to get the doors open."
Although an opening date has not yet been set, Mr Grey said the restaurant is expected to open this week - with a date revealed in coming days.
The idea of Washington-couple David and Penny Tilly, who first laid plans to open a Hard Rock Cafe in Newcastle several years ago, 70 jobs have been created.
Explaining how the idea came to fruition, franchisee Mr Tilly said he "couldn't understand" why no-one else had brought the name to the city in previous years.
He said: "We're huge fans of Hard Rock, wherever Penny and I went on holiday we’d always end up in a hard rock café with a fantastic burger.
The collection also includes the likes of Amy Winehouse's handwritten love letter, Taylor Swift's dress and Ed Sheeran's jumper.
Flown in especially to help train the team, Castro, a server from Hard Rock Cafe in Portugal likened the collection to a museum.
He said: “Memorabilia is part of our culture, we started our collection 50 years ago and now we have more than 83,000 pieces around the world.
“You’ll find some of them here in Newcastle and they’re awesome, we have local artists like Sting and people should come and have a look.
“It’s almost like a museum, we have fine food, amazing drinks and cocktails and memorabilia is part of our history.”
A familiar sight among many other Hard Rock Cafe destinations, a retail shop will open selling a range of personalised t-shirts and branded memorabillia.
From Newcastle-branded key rings to jumpers, hoodies and even face coverings, the 'Rock Shop,' is set to open seven days per week.
The provisional opening times are 12pm to 1am between Monday and Saturday, and 12pm to 12am on Sunday.
(c) The Northern Echo by Jim Scott (Photo by Jim Scott)
Read more about some of the exhibits, including Sting's here.