Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

KISS rocker Gene Simmons to open new restaurant chain

March 13, 2012 |  6:02 am

Rock & Brews partners Dave Furano, left, Gene Simmons and Michael Zislis

No one can dispute that KISS frontman Gene Simmons can market and sell just about anything with his band’s logo on it. But who would have guessed that in 2012 the eternal rock god would be serving up comfort food?

On Monday, it was announced that the fire-breathing legend will open a chain of restaurant and entertainment venues called Rock & Brews with mega concert promoter Dave Furano and restaurateur Michael Zislis, who was behind Rock’n Fish Steak House in Manhattan Beach and Mucho Ultimo Mexicana in the South Bay.

The chain is to open its first location April 3 in El Segundo just south of Los Angeles International Airport. Eventually a restaurant is planned to open inside the airport itself. Openings are also planned for Denver; Atlanta; Maui, Hawaii; Tokyo; and Los Cabos, Mexico.

Decked out with classic rock memorabilia, the concept is to duplicate the look and feel of an authentic  backstage area, minus the sweaty roadies and groupies who love them.

But it’s the beer geeks who really should be banging their heads with joy. The restaurant is planning to carry hundreds of craft beers in bottles and cans -- and more than 40 on tap.

The grand opening of Rock & Brews in El Segundo will feature a private luncheon for returning veterans and a star-studded opening bash hosted by Simmons, Furano and Zislis to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. 

As far as we can tell, Simmons’ involvement in the project hasn’t caused the restaurant chain to become a shrine to all things KISS, unlike the recently opened KISS miniature golf course in Las Vegas, endorsed by the band. In case you're wondering, it features a giant open-mouthed Simmons head with a pink-tongued fairway. And let's not forget the KISS Coffeehouse opened by a member of KISS Army in Myrtle Beach, Fla.


SXSW 2012: 10 Los Angeles artists to see

Neil Diamond adds two more shows at Greek Theatre

Following Woody Guthrie's footsteps from Oklahoma to Texas to California

-- Nate Jackson

Photo: Rock & Brews partners Dave Furano, left, Gene Simmons and Michael Zislis. Credit: PR Newswire