(WMC-TV) - An official inside Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's office confirms the Hard Rock Cafe, now located on Beale Street and Rufus Thomas Boulevard, is moving two blocks west to Beale and Second streets.
The mayor would not outright confirm that the international restaurant that boasts live music, music memorabilia, and a casual dining experience plans to move into the Lansky building at 126 Beale Street.
"I have talked with them, but they will have to give you the details as to what announcement they will make," said Wharton. "It's no great secret though, that I have wanted to see Beale Street extend, particularly to the west ... I'd be just as interested in making sure the space they might vacate, if that materializes, is kept as an active commercial site."
Beale business owners say Lansky's "Clothier to the King" brand is a perfect match for the music-themed restaurant and a move that will facilitate the city's plan to extend Beale Street to the river.
Owners also say Hard Rock's two-block move west is a great strategy to extend Beale Street to the river.
"If you could get that thing out another block or two, that makes it that much better for our customers," said Beale Street Merchants President Ty Agee.
Agee analyzed traffic at Second and Beale streets, where BB Kings, Blues City Cafe, and MLGW fill the other spaces.
"Sixty-five percent of everybody that came in on Beale Friday and Saturday nights came in through Second and Beale," said Agee.
Locals like Bret Malone say it is a good move.
"It would be more visible," he said.
Agee says the more variety on "America's Most Iconic Street" the more people will come and the better the sales tax income for the city.
The mayor says Hard Rock has not asked for any city incentives. If they move then they would foot the whole bill.