Two members behind Kiss, the make-up clad rock band from the 70s known for songs like Detroit Rock City and I Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night, are also restaurateurs and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley want to bring their chain to the Chicago area. Simmons and Stanley, in town for a concert Friday in suburban Bridgeview, told the Tribune they’d like to open 10 to 15 restaurants and bring a corporate office to the area in the next five to seven years. Rock & Brews debuted in 2012 in Southern California and has grown to 20 locations.
Wings, salads, burgers, and craft beer are part of the formula at other locations. Simmons, who bears a legendary lengthy tongue, wasn’t tongue-tied during his interview. He’s rather confident that Rock & Brews will be successful in Chicago despite the fierce restaurant competition. “Either Chicago is America or it's not. Everywhere we've gone, it works beyond expectation. The only thing you could say is, it's not going to work here because we're in Zimbabwe,” Simmons told the Trib.
Ownership is still negotiating its first location and hopes to open it somewhere in the area next year. Simmons and Stanley want locations near O’Hare and Midway, so Bill Murray could have company in Rosemont. Expect lots of TVs, tons of Kiss merchandise for sale, and pictures of the band’s favorite musicians on the walls. Customers have drawn comparisons to the Hard Rock Cafe.
Rock & Brews may appeal to the same dad rock-loving crowd that piles into Kuma’s Corner. However, it remains to be seen if the burgers can match Kuma’s quality. Stay tuned for more.