Paul Stanley & Gene Simmons Launch Oviedo Rock & Brews

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Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Open Rockin’ Oviedo Eatery

Let me start off by clearly stating that I am not a card carrying member of the KISS Army.  I know and appreciate many of their hits and realize they played a huge role in paving the way for many future metal acts. I don’t own any of their albums, and although I’ve seen about 500 concerts in my life, I have yet to catch my first KISS show.  So, when I learned that two legendary KISS members were opening a restaurant in Oviedo, I wasn’t totally enthused.  After today’s event, I’ve made a complete 180.

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Check out all of our photos of the event here: Rock & Brews Grand Opening

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, two iconic founding members of KISS, are behind a cool new restaurant concept, Rock & Brews.  On Tuesday, they held the Grand Opening celebration for their first East Coast location, in our own backyard, here in Oviedo.  Why Oviedo? Simmons summed it up clearly, “We wanted to show everyone that we’re not about the highfalutin city life and that rock star thing, but we’re good neighbors. This is a family place, where you can bring your family, bring your kids and bring your dogs.” And, yes they do serve dog beer, as well as offering 56 draft beers including a great selection of local craft brews for their human customers.

The rock-themed event revolved around a bountiful luncheon honoring our country’s true heroes, the many Veterans of our Armed Forces.  There were more than 100 honorees present including a few octogenarians who fought in World War II.  The event was a smashing success and a harbinger of good things to come from this group.

The magnanimous hosts, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, joined by Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere, kicked off the celebration with a touching tribute, the Pledge Of Allegiance, followed by the ceremonial ribbon cutting where Stanley did the snipping.

Stanley and Simmons were the focal point throughout the affair, but both performers were constantly humble, personable and thankful for the veterans who filled their dazzling new joint.  The large, open restaurant is plastered with cool rock ‘n roll memorabilia, colorful over-sized portraits, huge album covers and greater than life concert performance photos, where legends of rock seemed to stare down at the guests of honor, many of whom were in full military uniform.

The food flew out non-stop, and I sampled the ribs, chicken wings and pizza, all pretty damn good.  The servers were everywhere, oozed friendliness and seemed happy as hell to be there.  Scott Paul, the chain’s GM for the Florida region noted how focused he and his staff have been on hiring the right fit, looking for family-oriented employees willing to work hard and have fun.  From what I saw this day, he’s been quite successful.

After the meal wrapped up, Stanley presented a $10,000 check to the Central Florida VA Hospital.  It’s obvious that Stanley and Simmons, who openly discuss their deep appreciation for our veterans, are quite willing to put their money behind their beliefs. We spoke to Winter Park’s Marc Simon, an Army veteran who was among the honorees, and who spent some quality time with Simmons and shared the experience. “I thanked him for his appreciation of veterans and everything he does. It was very humbling to meet him. As Gene is humble himself, he said it’s all about us, we’re the real heroes and he’s appreciative of us.”

Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Rock & Brews Oviedo
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley grab guitars and entertain the crowd at Rock & Brews Grand Opening.

Stanley seemed to be having a blast, and was singing along to various songs constantly. Two musical highlights from the affair included Stanley and Simmons grabbing acoustic guitars from members of the VA hospital and spontaneously jumping into a pair of Elvis Presley classics, and more poignantly, during a quiet moment, Stanley led an impromptu singalong version of “America The Beautiful” that left more than a handful of eyes just a bit watery, including the aforementioned Scott Paul, who had the unenviable task of following that act on stage.

We spoke to Paul a bit later. He’s a microcosm of the employees we met, he’s passionate about his job, is focused on morals, values and integrity and he made it abundantly clear that Rock & Brew is not just a huge corporate behemoth looking to make a buck off of the area.  No, this crew is ingrained in the area. They hire local, buy local and support numerous area groups. He explained the decision to start their East Coast operations in Oviedo, “This fits our demographic of nuclear families, middle class. It’s middle America.”

The restaurant in Oviedo is the first in Florida, but two more will follow soon in the Orlando airport area and then one in New Tampa.

Check out the Oviedo spot soon, and get to meet your rocking new neighbors.

Rock On!

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Check out all of our photos of the event here: Rock & Brews Grand Opening 

One thought on “Paul Stanley & Gene Simmons Launch Oviedo Rock & Brews”

  1. Great story and we are proud to have these guys – they are really the KINGS !
    I love the reviews this magazine has – always something cool to read – Thanks again !
    I wanna rock and roll all night – and party every day is our youth anthem !
    Man , I wish it was 1975′ – all over again !

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