The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how the restaurant was able to retrieve the instrument.
According to San Antonio police, someone walked in a side door of the Hard Rock Cafe and took the red, white and black guitar off the wall, and then exited the building. An employee noticed the guitar was missing after the Hard Rock Cafe closed, police said.
The Frankenstrat guitar was one of several that Van Halen had custom built for him during his career, the San Antonio Express reported.
Van Halen is considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen eighth on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.