05/27/2016

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons to open Rock & Brews restaurant in Chesterfield, Missouri

Paint your face white and black and get ready to rock and roll (and eat) all night. Rock & Brews, the restaurant concept that counts rock superstars Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS among its founding partners, will open this fall in Chesterfield.

“This is more a lifestyle than a restaurant,” Stanley said in an interview Wednesday. “People who come here pretty much make it their home — their hang out.”

In fact, finding a place where Stanley could hang out with his own family helped shape the Rock & Brews concept.

“As I got older, I found that to go out with my kids and spend time during the day meant I’d have to eat cardboard mac and cheese with a waiter dressed like a giant rat,” Stanley said. “So the idea (behind Rock & Brews) was in one sense to address a need I had. If you address your own needs, you address the needs of others.”

Rock & Brews will occupy the stand-alone building at 17258 Chesterfield Airport Road in the Chesterfield Commons shopping plaza.

The space has housed several restaurants in the past but has been vacant since Estancia Mexican Restaurant closed in May 2015. It will be the 18th Rock & Brews chain location. Stanley and Simmons founded the chain with the restaurateur and hotelier Michael Zislis and the concert promoters and brothers Dave and Dell Furano.

The Chesterfield Rock & Brews is not only the chain’s first location in the St. Louis area but also its first in Missouri. There is a location in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan..

“Our relationship with St. Louis goes back to the KSHE Kite-Flying contest,” Stanley said. At that event, the KISS lead singer remembers “being driven out in a van without windows into a field, not knowing where we were going and playing as a new band cutting our teeth.”

“We’ve been at the Checkerdome, we’ve been all over,” Stanley continued. “I can remember going to salvage yards that had stained-glass windows that came out of the older houses. I’ve spent a good amount of time in St. Louis.”

Stanley described the Rock & Brews menu as high-quality but unpretentious fare — burgers, wings, pizzas, pretzels — that the entire family can enjoy. “Our pretzel dough is flown in from Germany,” he said. “We don’t compromise.”

Of course, St. Louis in general, Chesterfield in particular and Chesterfield Commons especially aren’t lacking in restaurants with similar concepts. Kirk Williams, the franchisee overseeing the Chesterfield location, said he thinks Rock & Brews will stand out among the competition.

“We’re almost exclusively a from-scratch kitchen,” Williams said. “Our sauces are made every day. Our hamburger meat is fresh, never frozen.”

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