Hard Rock’s first employee attends celebration at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Rita Gilligan is 79 years old but says she still feels 29.

Gilligan, a former waitress, was the first employee of a Hard Rock Café when the first location opened in London in 1971 inside an old Rolls Royce dealership.

“I mean who would’ve thought in 1971, we got a lease of £5,000 for three months. And here we are nearly a half a century and we’re still rocking the world,” Gilligan exclaimed during her visit to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.

Gilligan was in attendance during Thursday’s celebration festivities for new renovations.

She told 8 On Your Side’s Daisy Ruth she has helped open about 160 Hard Rock locations around the world. Gilligan was just in Malaysia last week.

“We rocked it! Today I’m here in gorgeous Tampa, the weather is shining and the place is electric and it’s amazing,” she said.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired Hard Rock International in March 2007. Gilligan said she’s thankful for the Seminole tribe, saying they saved the brand.

“I’ve got the best job in the world!” she exclaimed. “That’s what keeps me alive. Keeps the spirit going. And it’s rock and roll and music that’s the medicine of life.”

LATEST NEWS FROM WFLA.COM:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Early hurricane season forecasts predict a lightly above average season

Thumbnail for the video titled "Early hurricane season forecasts predict a lightly above average season"

Family of missing St. Petersburg woman is losing hope

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family of missing St. Petersburg woman is losing hope"

Motorcyclist and bicyclist killed after collision on Bayshore Blvd.

Thumbnail for the video titled "Motorcyclist and bicyclist killed after collision on Bayshore Blvd."

Police investigating Bayshore Blvd. traffic fatality

Thumbnail for the video titled "Police investigating Bayshore Blvd. traffic fatality"

Citrus County couple back home after weeks on cruise ships during coronavirus outbreak

Thumbnail for the video titled "Citrus County couple back home after weeks on cruise ships during coronavirus outbreak"

Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships"

businesses shutting down

Thumbnail for the video titled "businesses shutting down"

tobacco depot video

Thumbnail for the video titled "tobacco depot video"

Clearwater police surprise 6-year-old for his birthday

Thumbnail for the video titled "Clearwater police surprise 6-year-old for his birthday"

Migrant workers especially suffering during coronavirus crisis

Thumbnail for the video titled "Migrant workers especially suffering during coronavirus crisis"

evan small business stimulus loans

Thumbnail for the video titled "evan small business stimulus loans"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss