73 and Counting

The unassuming store front

I have a secret obsession, and I’m here today to finally come clean. I like collecting Hard Rock Café shot glasses. I have zero interest in the cafes really, but I do love the little 1 ½ ounce glass. To date I have some 73 glasses, and when I’m in a city that has one I try and make my way to the location to add to my collection.

This obsession started over 20 ago, when I was still in high school. My friend was moving to San Diego for college and had an on campus visit he had to make, so I tagged along for the road trip. I even cut a day of school for this, don’t tell my mom. On our trip to So-Cal we drove through Newport Beach and stopped at that location for lunch. It was my first visit to an HRC and I just had to have a souvenir of the trip so I picked up my first glass. From that point on I was obsessed, in fact on that same trip I made my buddy drive me to the La Jolla location so I could get one there too. Ironically since I wasn’t 21 I couldn’t even by a drink there, but just had to have them.

So on my most recent trip to Seattle, I made sure to stop by and pick one up. Oddly enough this location had only been around for four years, and since it’s opened I’ve not been there. The problem with having this obsession, is the time and effort it can take to get them. Since in most cases they are in touristy locations, you have to find your way to the action to get one. This can entail dealing with traffic, parking and just needing to go to some downright awful tourist trap to pick one up. Can you say Fisherman’s’ Wharf in San Francisco or Orchard Road in Singapore. In most cases the cost of getting to the destination or parking is more than the cost of the souvenir which is just funny. People have done a lot more for a lot less.


In store display, but all I want is the plain logo glass.

In other cases, I’m really not in the city where the location is and so an extra trek to get the glass wear is in order. For example in Tokyo there are three locations two in the heart of Tokyo and one in Yokohama. When I went to Japan we went to all three locals, but the one in Yokohama was about a two hour train trip to get to. So of course we went there got the glass and within five minutes we were out the door onto something better than an HRC. Who in their right minds would do that? This guy. Or driving from South Beach to Ft. Lauderdale to the Seminole Casino cause I just had to have it.

I never eat the food or get a drink, and I don’t own any pins or t-shirts, just the glasses. At least many of my friends know about my obsession so they humor me and buy them for me when they are in a city with a location. I’ve even gone so far as to check out their website every time I visit a new city to see if there is one, just so I don’t miss out. I also have a spreadsheet that keeps track of which ones I have, since there are so many and locations and they come and go over the years.

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