By Matt Kroschel

EMPIRE, Colo. (CBS4) – The century-old original Hard Rock Cafe in Empire is looking for a new person to bring it back to life.

Empire mayor Richard Sprague showed CBS4 around the historic building that houses town hall offices upstairs and the now vacant restaurant downstairs.

Empire Mayor Richard Sprague speaks with CBS4’s Matt Kroschel. (credit: CBS)

More than 2 million cars a year pass by the old building headed to Grand County and beyond.

“We are in the home of the Hard Rock Café which started in 1934,” Sprague told CBS4 on a tour Monday.

It had the name before those other hard rock cafes were even open.

“Named for the hard rock miners that came in to have breakfast,” Sprague added.

(credit: CBS)

The previous lease-holder called it quits last year leaving the small town without its iconic Hard Rock Cafe open for business.

“It’s the gathering place of Empire,” Sprague said.

The place has no connection with that other Hard Rock brand – besides the name and an agreement the town won’t advertise the place outside the state borderlines.

(credit: CBS)

Empire town leaders say they have had a few calls in the last month from people interested in opening the cafe back to the public.

“We are willing to work with anyone who wants to bring this place back to life,” Sprague said.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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