Guess which rock stars co-founded this family-friendly brewpub chain? (Hint: It’s their first foray into the restaurant industry, but they’ve been business moguls for quite a while.)
|Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons - Restaurateurs|
It’s Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss! If you didn’t guess, don’t feel bad. Although Kiss-branded merchandise has been wildly successful for decades, the two decided to “celebrate the concept of rock” in this venture, with their own identity being just one part of the whole.
|Paul and Gene = Best pizza delivery guys EVER|
Besides being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and debuting a brand-new reality show, they’re rolling out Rock & Brews in fan-friendly cities around the country in 2014. (And clearly, they're having some fun with the promotion.)
|Rock & Brews - coming to rock-friendly cities soon|
“Fan-friendly” might not mean the markets you’d guess. Instead of choosing tourist hot spots, the Rock & Brews team looked for locations that had, over the years, been the best on the concert circuit: faithful fans in rock-loving and true American cities. After putting down roots in the L.A. beach cities of El Segundo and Redondo Beach, Calif., they’re opening Albuquerque, N.M., and Overland Park, Kan., outside Kansas City, in 2014.
... and of course, Hawaii -- because owning your own bar in Hawaii is living the dream. But it isn't in Honolulu or any ritzy resort. Instead, visitors to Maui’s upcountry, hippie village, Paia, now have a new place to get pizza, burgers and 52 different beers (one for every week of the year).
“It’s a community within a community. It has a charm and artistic personality that resonates with us,” says Paul Stanley.
|Iconic art of the Sixties and beyond|
Other brand partners, brothers Dell and Dave Furano, were rock ‘n roll merchandising moguls starting in the 1960s and can access an incredible archive of iconic art and photography to create interiors that “look back at a fertile era of music history” via iconic posters of Pink Floyd, John Lennon and the Police mixed with the Kiss pieces. Fifth partner Michael Zislis brings the laid-back multi-generation vibe -- perfected over two decades as a Southern California restaurant/bar owner.
|Paul Stanley ... pizza chef?|
Little-known fact: Paul Stanley is quite the accomplished and passionate home chef. Rocco DiSpirito is his food “consigliere” on speed dial, though Rocco didn’t teach him his greatest kitchen talent -- hand-tossing pizza dough. That was self-taught.
|Face the Music|
Fans of Stanley will be getting a lot more insider scoops when his autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," comes out on April 8. Here’s hoping he follows it up with a cookbook!
|LA Kiss - the team, the bikini dancers, the reality show|
Meanwhile in the TV realm, Simmons and Stanley will be appearing on a brand-new AMC show that will follow them through a season as the new owners of the LA Kiss arena football team (with prerequisite sexy dance squad).
|A legendary footprint|
“Life is short. I wanna leave a big footprint,” says Simmons. And he does. In the past two weeks, he’s made headlines countless times -- most boldly for pulling out of an upcoming Hall of Fame induction performance.
|Say Hi to Kiss|
But while they’ve never shied away from controversy, the rockers remain ever-approachable to their “Kiss Army,” advising fans that no matter where and when you see them: “COME ON UP AND SAY HI.”