Thursday, March 6, 2014

KISS expand Rock & Brews chain

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS are expanding their Rock & Brews restaurant chain into Kansas and Oklahoma.

The pair have signed a franchise agreement for five new locations, with the first set to open in May in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.

Joining the Rock & Brews family as the first multi-unit franchisee is Kansas native, Kirk Williams, president of Legacy Restaurant Group, an established restaurant operator who currently owns 21 Wendy's restaurants in Kansas and Missouri. Williams has formed Kanbrews, LLC to develop, open and operate the five Rock & Brews in Kansas and Oklahoma over the next five years, and has the option for an additional five in Missouri and Nebraska.

"Rock & Brews is unlike any full-service restaurant company I have experienced," said Williams. "The concept is very family and neighborhood friendly, offering superior classic American cuisine at affordable prices, an unparalleled selection of international and craft beers and an atmosphere that is energized and welcoming. After one hour at the company's flagship location near Los Angeles International Airport in California, I knew that we needed to bring this dynamic brand to the Midwest."

The new Rock & Brews in Overland Park will be part of the highly anticipated Prairiefire development, a 58-acre, mixed-use, "city-within-a-city" that will feature luxury residences, office space, a luxury boutique hotel, casual and fine dining, retail and entertainment facilities, and vast outdoor recreational space. Prairiefire will also be home to The Museum of Prairiefire, featuring renowned exhibitions and authentic artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History of New York, one of the world's most celebrated museums.

"Prairiefire, like Rock & Brews, is a truly unique destination experience and a perfect location for us," said Stanley. "Our goal is to provide a sensory experience for rockers of all ages with incredible food, a broad selection of craft beers and an exciting rock-themed environment."

Stanley and Simmons, along with their co-founding partners, restaurateur and hotelier Michael Zislis and concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano, are planning for worldwide expansion of the brand. The franchise agreement with Williams is the first of a handful of select regional, multi-unit franchise partners that Rock & Brews will engage for the expansion.

"We have opportunities around the world, and are carefully reviewing each and every one of them and interviewing appropriate partners," said Simmons. "While the demand is high, we will expand the brand cautiously because, like every one of our concerts, each restaurant is special."

Rock & Brews Overland Park will join the brand's growing roster that includes three Los Angeles-area locations, including its flagship location in El Segundo, one in Redondo Beach, and one at LAX Terminal 5; its first international location in Los Cabos, Mexico, and its newest location in Paia on Maui. In addition to Overland Park, several Rock & Brews restaurants are in development in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Texas.

The more-than-6,000-square-foot Rock & Brews Overland Park will feature the brand's signature casual American cuisine, a full bar that includes a broad selection of premium wines and international and craft beers, and an atmosphere reminiscent of a family-friendly concert environment, featuring concert lighting, multiple televisions and concert-style rock music. Guests can dine indoors or al fresco on heated patios. And, with something for everyone, Rock & Brews Overland Park will be dog-friendly and offer a lively play area for children.

Rock & Brews Overland Park will introduce 75 new full- and part-time jobs for restaurant employees and dozens of construction jobs.

While the restaurant is expected to open by May 1, grand opening activities hosted by Simmons and Stanley and their co-founding partners are set for May 29 and will include a luncheon for wounded warriors, veterans and active military and an evening gala.

On April 10, KISS will be inducted into the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame at a ceremony in New York, along with Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt.

See also:

KISS: Paul Stanley slams Ace Frehley
KISS never had any plans to reunite for Rock Hall induction
KISS tops the hennemusic Hot 10
Anthrax guitarist supports KISS not playing Rock Hall induction
Search KISS at hennemusic