Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from the legendary rock band KISS were on hand to cut the ribbon at the newest Rock & Brews location in Oviedo, Florida. Gene and Paul also honored veterans with a special luncheon, and a ceremony to donate $10,000 to the Orlando VA Medical Center’s Lake Nona Fisher House.
Rock & Brews opened quietly over a month ago, in Oviedo – a surprise location, not in the tourist corridor. The restaurant was looking for a local audience for their first East coast location. Rock & Brews expects the next Florida location to be closer to Orlando International Airport, though no date has been set.
Regional Managing Partner Scott Paul said a few words while Gene and Paul arrived with the scissors.
Paul salutes as they head out for the ribbon cutting.
Each morning, the restaurant employees say the Pledge of Allegiance. This day was no different, with Gene, Paul and Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere leading the group that included media and over 100 veterans.
Gene and Paul get ready to cut the ribbon.
Here is our video of the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Gene Simmons helps one of the many veterans inside the restaurant.
This was our second visit to the Oviedo Rock & Brews location. All of the food we have tried has been excellent. Ribs are one of their specialties, and chicken with Asian glaze and pineapple is on the same platter here. On our first visit, I enjoyed the Santa Maria Fire Grilled Tri Tip Sandwich – it is rare for me to order a steak sandwich because I’ve had too many with overly tough meat, but this one was very tender.
The Strawberry Fields Salad includes baby greens and romaine, with walnuts, chunks of avocado and feta cheese.
The Fire Grill Tri-Tip Taco entree was a hit at our table. Most entrees are in the $10 – $12 range, very much in line with restaurants in the Orlando area.
Beer Battered Fish Tacos were also a favorite.
The restaurant was filled with veterans, I enjoyed hearing some of their stories. One told me that this was one of the nicest veterans meals he has been invited to. Food was served family style, with boxes brought out so everyone who wished could bring some home.
After lunch, Paul Stanley took to the microphone to donate a check to the Orlando VA Medical Center for the Lake Nona Fisher House. In each community that Rock & Brews enters, veterans are honored and money is given to a local veterans organization. The focus was on local here, with Stanley talking about the partnership in the community – buying local food, serving locally brewed beers, and giving back.
Representatives from the Orlando VA Medical Center accept the check.
Here is the entire ceremony, which includes Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons leading everyone in “America the Beautiful”.
The bears each bore the last name, along with a tag that said “volunteer” with their faces in makeup.
The bear given to Paul Stanley.
Paul and Gene pose with their bears and plaques.
Paul holds up his plaque.
The plaque is from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and thanks Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for their contribution to the Fisher House.
After the small ceremony, Gene and Paul met with the veterans. A few even brought albums or other items to sign.
We had the opportunity to interview both Paul and Gene. Jeff is a big fan, I am more of a fan of their work with veterans. We asked both Paul and Gene about the family friendly restaurant concept (which extends to dogs as well), food and their work with veterans.
Here is our interview with Paul Stanley.
Above Paul, KISS and other artists are shown in the decor.
The outdoor patio is where kids and dogs can enjoy some time. There is a play area for kids, and a menu for dogs.
We spent about 5 minutes interviewing Gene Simmons. For those who are fans, they will be back in Florida with Kiss Kruise V this fall!
Here is our interview with Gene Simmons.
Jeff poses with a Gene lookalike.
Fans lined up to get into the restaurant.
Rock & Brews is located at 7131 Red Bug Lake Road, Oviedo, FL 32765. We had a great time covering the event today, and look forward to Rock & Brews expanding in the Central Florida area in the future.