Ahead of their show at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on Wednesday, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS were at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
No, not to play The Northern Light Theater or slot machines. But rather, to be a part of a groundbreaking event for their new rock music-themed restaurant that will be opening on the third floor of the casino.
“Where there’s no Rock & Brews, there’s a void,” Stanley told the Journal Sentinel. “When you can do something that enhances a community, makes you a neighbor and brings great food, great drinks, it’s really something special.”
Rock & Brews, which has locations across the country, will feature “American classics with a twist,” according to a news release. That includes burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and more.
Stanley said he could go “on and on” about the food. The fish tacos and pizza are “crazy good,” he said, and the Strawberry Fields salad is great.
Simmons gushed over the “Purple Rain Drops,” which according to the restaurant’s website are French beignet-style pastries that are filed with chocolate, drizzled with raspberry and dusted with powdered sugar. Patrons can dip them into a house-made whipped cream.
And we can’t forget the beer.
“Yes, this is beer city. We know that,” Stanley said at the event. “And we know about the beer that made Milwaukee famous.”
There will be 52 brews on tap, including local offerings.
“The good times start with that very first person who greets you,” Simmons said. “I can go to a nice place … and if you’ve got an a-hole who greets you, the whole experience goes down the drain. So we’re very careful about who we associate with. That’s the most important thing.”
The 6,500-square-foot restaurant will have seating for more than 200 people, a double-sided bar with gaming machines, and a stage for live music, a news release said. There will also be a private dining room for parties and events.
“If you fulfill your own needs, you fulfill the needs of others,” Stanley said. That’s why he co-founded the restaurant chain with Simmons and their other business partners.
When Stanley started having kids, he said he had to take them to a place with “cardboard pizza” and a person dressed as a giant rat.
On the contrary, he said, Rock & Brews will offer “great food” and have “an atmosphere of rock and roll and all the music that we love,” while still being family-friendly.
Speaking of family, that’s how the Potawatomi team has been treating the Rock & Brews crew, Simmons said.
At the event, Dominic Ortiz, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s chief executive officer and general manager, said he “couldn’t be more happy.”
“Thank you for being here, thank you for being a part of the community and who you are — the humility, the people, the genuineness of you,” Ortiz said. “We couldn’t find a better partnership for this city. So, rock on.”
Rock & Brews will be located off the parking ramp skywalk as guests enter the casino. It plans to make its debut by September of this year, according to a news release.
The restaurant is part of a $100 million renovation project that will also include over 1,800 more slot machines; a full-service Starbucks; three new “quick service” food and beverage stations; a new room for high-limit gamblers; and more. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2023.
“This project is just another example of how the Potawatomi continue to invest and better the communities that we all call home,” Ned Daniels, Jr., chairman of the Forest County Potawatomi, said at the event.
Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.
DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: KISS’ Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley open Rock & Brews at Potawatomi