KISS bassist Gene Simmons, along with the group’s co-founder, guitarist Paul Stanley, have been rocking out since the 70s as the dynamic duo “Demon and Starchild” in what is considered the most successful rock band in history.
Now the two are distributing their American restaurant chain Rock & Brew (opened in 2012) in the Chicago area. Rumor has it 10 to 15 locations will open up sometime within the next five to seven years, with the first location opening next year. Placement of their corporate offices will also call Chicago home, though the exact location is still being worked out.
With a grandiose discography of 24 albums to boast, Simmons’ and Stanley’s marketing strategies over the years have been impressive, to say the least, with having pushed forward a number of products under the KISS logo like luggage sets, cookie jars, action figures, and even a limited edition pin ball machine that made all the rage when it hit the market back in 1979.
As for Rock & Brew, the family-friendly restaurant chain, which offers a menu of a cleverly spun take on classic American comfort food, fans and folks who love to dine out will enjoy classic rock décor inside, as well as have the convenience of watching music videos and sports on 30 to 40 televisions.
When Chicago Tribune recently asked Simmons why he, Stanley, and corporate partners Michael Zislis, Dave Furano and Dell Furano chose to open 10 to 15 locations in Chicago, Simmons replied, “Easy,” Simmons said. “Look, we’re not McDonald’s, we’re in a higher end, but when it works, boy, it works. When a brand gets it right for their audience, it can work almost anywhere.”
Sullivan added by saying, “Chicago is a big city. You can’t just dip your toe in the water. You have to dive in. And you have to open many locations to build a solid brand,” Sullivan said.
Since the restaurant’s opening five years ago, a total of 20 locations have been opened up across the country in Texas, California, Oklahoma, Florida, New Mexico, Kansas, Hawaii, and in San José del Cabo, Mexico.