Rolling Stone magazine to launch restaurant, lounge

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Music and pop culture magazine Rolling Stone is getting into the food business, announcing plans Friday to launch a themed chain starting with a Hollywood restaurant, bar and lounge.

Located just steps away from some of the most famous attractions in Los Angeles, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre, the multi-level Rolling Stone space plans to open next summer at the Hollywood and Highland Center.

Some 15 million tourists are estimated to stroll through the center each year.

Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner said the magazine was joining nightlife company Lucky Rug Group, led by entrepreneurs Niall Donnelly and Joe Altounian, for the effort.

"We've been looking for the ideal opportunity to expand the Rolling Stone brand for some time," Wenner said in a statement. The bi-monthly magazine, which counts some 13 million readers, has already delved into video games and book publishing.

In a bid to bring to life the essence of the iconic music magazine, the new venue will shun typical rock memorabilia already found in places like the Hard Rock Cafe.

Instead, the 10,000-square-foot (930-square-meter) space will provide a "progressive timelessness" complete with exposed black brick walls, tufted leather furniture, vaulted ceilings and an antique iron staircase.

"We are both excited and determined to bring the spirit of the magazine to life - the edginess, the coolness, the classiness and the timelessness - in making this venue a place to see and be seen in," Donnelly said.

The long-haired and tattooed Irish entrepreneur is behind a series of ventures across Britain and Ireland, including Anam Bar, Slim Jim's Liquor Store, the Woodbine, the Blue Note and Blackjack Liquor Shack.

But the new venture could prove a big gamble for Rolling Stone. Other competitors, like Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, have taken financial beatings although they remain open.

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