Steady progress has been made, as a premises license has been submitted to the Newcastle city council and plans for a £2.5 million transformation have been developed for the historic building. However, the turning point came when council bosses approved a new alcohol license for the project in the final week of September.
This is a large step forward and if the couple are able to secure the final permissions needed, such as the permission to “vary the layout and style”, the branch will be up and running, transforming the run-down Guildhall into a modern restaurant.
The Hard Rock Cafe, renowned for its music memorabilia, currently has venues in 74 countries. In the UK, there are cafes located in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
"We don't know yet when exactly we will be able to open and we are still waiting on a few things to be finalised for planning consent, but it is looking good."
Following the licence granting, Mr Tilly said, “I am absolutely thrilled. We don't know yet when exactly we will be able to open and we are still waiting on a few things to be finalised for planning consent, but it is looking good.
"We have had some good feedback and lots of support from some important organisations in the city.
"The condition of that ground floor at the Guildhall is not good at the moment, so it will be nice to bring it back to life.
"It is going to take some investment to do that and bring it back to what it should be for people to enjoy the splendour of the building."
However, there have been some objections to the plans. One neighbour in Sandhill has complained that the café being open until 1:30am is "unacceptable" due to "alcohol related noise issues". As well as this, Northumbria police objected to a new Quayside seating area on the pavement opposite the café. However, this was withdrawn when the applicants agreed to scrap these plans.
The Hard Rock Cafe will provide jobs for students and the public, as well as creating a social hub on the banks of the River Tyne.