After 19 years, the Strip’s Harley-Davidson Cafe is closing for good at the end of the month. Possessing an impressive longevity for a non-resort restaurant in the heart of the Strip, the cafe has witnessed the rise of the Bellagio, the transformation of the Aladdin into the Planet Hollywood Resort and the creation of CityCenter, Aria and the Cosmopolitan directly across Las Vegas Boulevard.
First rumored to be on the way out by the Vital Vegas blog last month, the cafe’s official last day will be Sunday, Oct. 30. Recently they had cut back hours, removing their breakfast schedule.
Serving casual American fare including burgers, sandwiches and barbecue, the interior featured Harley-Davidson choppers, walls covered with memorabilia like a "Jon Bon Jovi snakeskin jacket designed by Gianni Versace" and the Chopper Chapel, where guests could be married by Elvis or renew their vows. On opening day back in 1997, the red carpet featured appearances by "Burt Reynolds, Carrot Top, Stephanie Powers, Downtown Julie Brown, Donna D’Erico, Pamela Anderson Lee and Jon Voight."
The cafe sits on land owned by FX Luxury Las Vegas I LLC, a company formerly known as Metroflag BP LLC, who are the owners the 18-acre plot of land including the Hawaiian Marketplace that extends from the restaurant all the way south to Fatburger. This portion of The Strip has achieved some infamy for the stretch of retail adjacent to the cafe, frequently derided by Clark County Commissioners for its perennial shabbiness.
Harley-Davidson operates two oversized-sized motorcycle dealerships in Las Vegas, the latest two miles away, also on Las Vegas Boulevard, close to Town Square.
The license for the cafe is owned by Marc Packer, known locally as a partner in the Tao Group. There has been no word if the concept will be relocated, or on details of a possible replacement.