First Hard Rock to Be Part of Large Siem Reap Shopping Center

Cambodia’s first Hard Rock Cafe will be located inside a colonial-era building near Siem Reap’s Old Market and will sport two bars, more than 300 seats, an all-day live orchestra and memorabilia from Cambodia’s own rock ‘n’ roll culture, the project’s developer said Monday.

Alain Dupuis, director of Meas Development, which along with locally owned Worldwide In­vestment Group signed a deal with Hard Rock to open two restaurants in Cambodia—one in Siem Reap and one in Phnom Penh—said the restaurant would be in a brand new open-air shopping center also currently under construction.

“This will be the most important and largest building of the open-air shopping center, spanning 900 square meters with inside and garden seating, a live orchestra, two bars…a gift shop and, of course, lots of rock ‘n’ roll mem­orabilia,” said Mr. Dupuis.

Worldwide Investment Group’s chairwoman is Hun Kimleng, who is Prime Minister Hun Sen’s niece and is married to National Police Chief Neth Savoeun.

Like all Hard Rock Cafes, Mr. Dupuis said the Siem Reap res­taurant would be adorned with rock ‘n’ roll artifacts—mostly from the U.S.—while memorabilia from Cambodia’s rock culture would also likely be included.

“We will have memorabilia of rock ‘n’ roll coming from [the U.S.]. We will receive memorabilia from Hard Rock’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida, but we hope to find and include some Cambodian rock memorabilia,” he said, adding that the building housing Hard Rock had previously been occupied by Forte Insurance.

The restaurant is part of a much larger retail project known as “King’s Road, Angkor,” a roughly 5,000-square-meter, open-air shopping center that will include more than a dozen upscale shops and restaurants designed to look like rural Khmer homes.

“This is going to be a compound of high-standard shops and restaurants in Khmer-style homes. We will sell goods and souvenirs…and there will be Japanese, Khmer, Chinese, Korean and Indian restaurants,” said Lim Nam, whose company, Lim Nam Construction is building the new shopping center.

Mr. Nam, who also won the contract to build Siem Reap’s Night Market, said that the project started “months ago” and is expected to be completed soon. “We expect to finish it in three months,” he said.

Mr. Dupuis said it is likely Hard Rock would open by December and that its location in Phnom Penh has yet to be chosen.

“The preferred area is near Blue Pumpkin” on Sisowath Quay, he said.

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