KISS helps break ground on new 'Rock & Brews' restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

NOW: KISS helps break ground on new ’Rock & Brews’ restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Potawatomi Hotel & Casino leaders alongside legendary musicians Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS broke ground on the new Rock & Brews on Wednesday, May 11 -- the newest location of the music icons’ restaurant and part of a new look for Potawatomi.

“It’s a thrill to partner with these music legends by bringing a fantastic dining experience and truly unique new venue to our guests at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and the people of Milwaukee,” Potawatomi Hotel & Casino CEO and General Manager Dominic Ortiz said.

“The culture in Milwaukee is a perfect fit for a new Rock & Brews Restaurant,” said Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons in a joint statement. “We are excited that the groundbreaking ceremony falls on the date of our End of the Road Tour concert in Milwaukee. We didn’t want to miss this.”

The news release goes on to say, as the name suggests, “Rock & Brews” is a restaurant that “provides a superior dining experience with a Rock ‘n’ Roll twist.” Guests can enjoy great music while they dine; and there will be screens throughout the restaurant playing rock concerts in addition to amazing art and décor from some of music’s biggest names.

Want a fun way to have a groundbreaking ceremony? invite a couple of rock legends, and add food. Even players at the casino wanted to get in on the action. They were living up outside the ballroom, hoping to get a glimpse of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

In their early 70's, and playful off stage too.

"For the camera please say and spell your name for us. Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac,"  said Paul Stanley.

"Hi, Ruppert Winslow," said Gene Simmons of KISS.

Singing rock songs and clowning around, it's what these guys do best.

"Well it doesn't matter what I tell you. It's like you got to see this movie, you got to check it out. He's doing stuff. I know he is. Oh are you happy to see me, or is that a gun in your pocket? That's a cannon," said Simmons.

The American rock band KISS got together in 1973.

"You know traveling in covered wagons was really difficult and there was no electricity, so we had hamsters on wheels. Nah, the early days were great because we had something we believed in and that’s always important," said Stanley.

Nearly 50 years later, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are believing in the restaurant business, and adding Milwaukee to their Rock & Brew locations.

"We pride ourselves on our food. You can go to and actually see the food. And the first thing you'll notice is size. Despite what your girlfriend is telling you all these years, size does count," said Simmons.

A groundbreaking event in Potawatomi's ballroom had Gene and Paul...wait for it...yes...busting in through this makeshift wall holding sledgehammer types, guitars, and later, posing for pictures with fans.

"This will be a place you'll be proud of, you'll be happy to come to," said Stanley.

"So soon, soon count the days, this is even gonna be a cooler place," said Simmons.

"Rock & Brews" will replace an Italian restaurant and ballroom just beyond the third floor skywalk. It features 52 craft beers, food and a stage for live entertainment. It's all part of Potawatomi's $100 million renovation.

 "In life I think you have to have things that challenge you but also things that you fight for and the band fought for everything that it had in the beginning. Here we're almost 50 years later," said Stanley.

"Life is short and then you die. So if you're gonna dream, dare to dream big. Doesn't matter what you dream because that's the easy part. The hard part is getting up the next day, getting off your but and do something about it," said Simmons.

The menu is described as “American classics with a twist,” and includes burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. As for the brews? There will be 52 beers on tap featuring some of Brew City’s finest.

“Rock & Brews” is expected to be open by September 2022.

It’s part of a $100 Million renovation project announced this week that will revolutionize the casino’s third floor and usher in the next era of entertainment to Milwaukee. The project includes more than 120,000 square feet of space for new gaming, food, and entertainment experiences.

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