Dear Night Writer: What's the story on the Hard Rock Cafe that's supposed to come to D.C.? Where is it going to be? When is it opening? Will it have a membership fee? Will it book local bands?

Many Questions, Washington D.C.

Dear Many: The Hard Rock chain is definitely rolling. Following its successes in New York, London and Dallas (all established nightlife centers) owner Isaac Tigrett has decided to gamble on the resurgence of a downtown music/afterhours scene in Washington. The local Hard Rock Cafe, at 999 E Street NW, will be two blocks from d.c. space and only one block from 9:30 -- sort of middle of the musical road.

Tigrett has a tendency to theatrical design: The new Dallas cafe looks something like the Temple of Athena at the Acropolis and is nicknamed "the Supreme Court of Rock 'n' Roll." A proposed cafe in Memphis would be part of a huge hotel-sports arena pyramid recalling the original Memphis on the Nile. The cafe here, Tigrett's people say, has already been dubbed the "U.S. Embassy of Rock."

According to current plans, the multi-level cafe will have a basement of about 5,000 square feet, and first floor and mezzanine areas nearly twice that large. All three floors will feature artifacts from Tigrett's trademark collection of rock memorabilia.

Corporate spokesfolks in New York and Dallas say it's too early to be talking bookings, but that the cafe will probably have some live music some nights, and that may mean a cover charge. However, despite the musical name and memorabilia, a Hard Rock Cafe is primarily a restaurant -- hence no club membership. Stay tuned.