Interview: KISS Frontman Paul Stanley, Partner in Rock & Brews Restaurants

Paul Stanley of KISS fame is one of the five partners in Rock & Brews restaurants, along with fellow KISS star Gene Simmons, concert promoters/merchandisers Dave and Dell Furano, and restaurateur/hotelier Michael Zislis. The Manhattan Beach, CA-based chain is all about the beer and the music, but food and family time are also key to the 20-unit concept.

The June issue of Cheers profiles Rock & Brews, with details about its backstory and beverage strategy. We caught up with Stanley, fresh off a European tour with KISS, with a few questions on why he decided to get involved with the venture seven years ago.

Cheers: Had you ever thought about being in the restaurant business before Rock & Brews?

Paul Stanley: Honestly, no. The appeal of it only became interesting when I reached a time in my life when I saw a void in an area. Specifically, what was lacking was a restaurant where adults could spend time with their children and not have to compromise their palates.

Cheers: How is the Rock & Brews experience different for families?

PS: In essence, not making eating cardboard pizza served by a giant rat a prerequisite to an afternoon with your children. On top of it, the concept of quality food in an environment that could pay tribute to music that we loved and still do, without coming across like a funeral parlor whose walls are covered with dead musicians’ socks.

Cheers: How involved are you typically in different aspects of the restaurant?

PS: I’m involved in every level, from the decor to priority of food and menu. This is not a theme restaurant whose existence is basically a way to sell T-shirts on the way out. I’m a big foodie, which just a fancy way of saying that I like food, and therefore I want food that I like and am proud of. 

Fortunately, I’m in a point in my life where lending my name to something to get a check is of no appeal. If I cannot be a part of something from the ground up, to make a significant contribution, there’s no point.


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