The band’s frontmen, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, have announced plans to expand their Rock & Brews restaurant brand with a new Albuquerque franchise.
Work already has started on the restaurant, a nearly $3 million project that will take over the old Coronado Crossing spot on Montgomery, just west of San Mateo. It should open in August, joining just a handful of other locations around the world.
Simmons and Stanley are expected to attend an official grand opening party in September, according to the company.
“Rock & Brews is a concept that excites rockers of all ages in a family-oriented, rock-inspired atmosphere that invokes a celebratory sense of community gathering,” Simmons and Stanley said in a joint statement.
Franchisee Rock & Brews Southwest LLC is bringing the chain to the Duke City through an agreement to open locations in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Partners in the venture include Matt McMahon, who brought Outback Steakhouse into New Mexico in the mid-1990s, and Tim Tracy, former general manager of the Outback at Interstate 25 and Jefferson. Brett Anz and Perry Mann are principal owners.
“I think we’re going to fill a niche for the people of Albuquerque that is not currently being filled,” McMahon told the Journal.
While the thought of KISS may conjure images of guitars, bare chests, leather and Simmons’ tongue, Rock & Brews touts itself as family-friendly. The food — sandwiches, pizzas, salads and burgers — is made fresh and runs about $7-$15 per plate, McMahon said.
The restaurant has a full liquor license but its emphasis is beer, particularly craft brews. McMahon said craft selections, including some local varieties, will fill about 40 of the restaurant’s 52 taps.
Naturally, everything is served against a backdrop of rock-and-roll music and imagery.
“The design is very interesting and the food and execution are truly impressive. We plan to have the best patio in Albuquerque and the interior is like an art gallery of rock,” Anz said via email.
Hart Construction already has begun transforming Coronado Crossing into a 6,000-square-foot Rock & Brews with a patio. Owners estimate the complete overhaul will run close to $3 million. There are no plans for additional Albuquerque locations.
“I don’t see this concept being (replicated throughout the city),” he said. “I think it’s special, and I want to keep it this way.”
Rock & Brews remains a relatively young brand. The first opened in the Los Angeles area in 2012, and there are six open today — three in Southern California, and one each in Hawaii, Los Cabos, Mexico, and Kansas.
In addition to Simmons and Stanley, Rock & Brews’ founders include Michael Zislis and Dave and Dell Furano.