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Courtesy of Rock & Brews
Gene Simmons may be best known as the legendary tongue-wielding frontman of KISS, but the rocker has an incredible variety of businesses, plus TV shows (Gene Simmons Family Jewels) and merchandising deals. His latest venture is Rock & Brews, a rock 'n’ roll–themed restaurant franchise that serves big plates of food and more than 100 craft beers on tap.
“The vision was: You may not be a rock star, but why can’t we make you feel like one?” says Simmons. “If it was possible to get you to come in on a stretcher with beautiful girls feeding you grapes, we would do that. But the idea is to combine craft beers and great American food like healthy salads, nice, juicy, big, fat burgers and pizzas in an environment where you’re surrounded by the iconic imagery of the rock bands that continue to rule the world, like KISS, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and so on.”
The coolest KISS sighting that guests can expect at the new flagship location in El Segundo, CA: “Gene Simmons. I’m not one of those guys that stands in the back. I like too much power, and my ego demands it,” he tells F&W.
A self-described sugar junkie, Simmons is especially excited about the dessert menu. “The portions are enormous. Portions are important because I’m a man, and even though women have been lying to us since we crawled out of caves, size does count,” he says.
Um, OK. Here, Gene Simmons's favorite restaurants, besides Rock & Brews, of course. (“Clearly, my favorite new restaurant is Rock & Brews. I would remiss in my fiduciary duties if I didn't say that outright, obviously,” he says.)
Spago, Beverly Hills "Wolfgang Puck has always been nice to me over the years, and I’ve always loved his cooking. I’ve been going to his restaurants all the way from the Stone Age, from Spago to all his new places. Wolfgang’s always had a terrific palate as far as I’m concerned. Of course, whenever I come in, he comes out with a mountain of various chocolates: cakes, cookies, everything—his chocolate pie kills. Absolutely kills. He makes these guitars out of solid chocolate with cherries on top. It’s decadence beyond."
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills "The brunch never fails to impress, and I’m a sucker for all the desserts. Sunday brunches are my favorite meal because you can have your eggs, beef and cheese and then stuff yourself with great desserts. But that should be the only meal that day. It’s tough to eat more than 2,000 calories in one sitting, but I get pretty close. Sunday brunch at the Four Seasons—that kills, and I mean across the country. The Ritz-Carlton brunch is also very good."
Au Bon Pain (nationwide) "My favorite kinds of breads are French breads. I like those extra-long sandwiches with a little mayo, something spicy and a combination of turkey, salami, Swiss cheese and something green and leafy that I stole from a rabbit’s mouth to make me feel good about it. Nobody likes to point to franchise models, but good is good."