The Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Seattle is set to shut its doors in December, joining a growing number of retailers leaving the central district. The closure will result in 66 employees facing unemployment by the close of the year.
In a statement to KING 5, the company wrote, “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 firm has announced its decision to close its Seattle branch on December 1. While no specific reasons were provided for the closure, the company emphasized its ambitious plans to open 50 new locations over the forthcoming five years. Moreover, they remain open to a potential return to the Emerald City, should an appropriate venue become available.
When the venue opened in 2010, it was “celebrated as a positive sign for the city’s downtown,” according to The Seattle Times.
This follows shortly after Target revealed its intention to shut down two of its Seattle stores, citing theft and organized retail crime as primary concerns.
Seattle has seen a significant rise in crime subsequent to the 2020 decision by the city council to reduce police funding. The resulting exodus has left the Seattle Police Department significantly understaffed, with over 600 officers departing, putting the force below recommended operational capacity for a metropolis of its stature.
In a concerning development last month, Seattle exceeded its previous year's total homicides, marking a 7% surge in the initial half of 2023. If this trajectory persists, the city is poised to surpass its highest ever recorded homicide rate. Among several cities assessed, Seattle was one of just 10 that reported a crime increase during the same period, while many others experienced a decline.
King 5 highlighted that, in 2022, Seattle police were dispatched to the city's top 100 retail spots on 13,103 occasions. Addressing these incidents consumed in excess of 18,000 police hours, equivalent to the yearly duties of nine full-time patrol officers.
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