Lick it up, Dallas. The new KISS-owned restaurant in The Colony is open, and it is massive. Rock & Brews, "a family-friendly rock-inspired experience" is a project from KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who will make the trek to the Grandscape development spot for a grand opening on May 10.
The 8,950-square-foot restaurant has two bars, a stage and two patios, one of which is climate-controlled, along with a never-ending supply of rock ephemera. If you've ever wanted to eat baby back ribs under a massive Stevie Ray Vaughan mural, this is your place. And these are your people.
Rock & Brews bills itself as a "family-friendly rock 'n' roll experience" with a dog-friendly patio, "casual American cuisine" and live music from cover bands. It also has 48 taps, 60 varieties of bottled beers and ambition to take "craft beer culture to another level." It's safe to say that when even KISS is on the craft beer bandwagon, the movement has definitely solidified its place in the mainstream consciousness.
Much like the space itself, this menu is massive — wings, pizza and burgers probably would have sufficed, but you'll also find everything from Chicago-style hot dogs to steak slathered in a fig balsamic reduction. Despite the massive output of this kitchen, they're pretty adamant about making everything in-house, down to the sausage, Bavarian pretzels and pizza dough.
During happy hour on opening day, the place was filling fast with couples sipping beer on the patio, families with small kids and plenty of people who clearly count themselves among KISS' throng of die-hard fans — admittedly, I am not one of them. Even still, after some initial hesitation, the music from the "360-degree entertainment experience" was a pretty decent mix of current artists, rather than just a lengthy KISS playlist. My fears of being swallowed whole by classic rock were unwarranted.
Despite the serious cash invested in the sound system, it was still quiet enough that I could hear neighboring tables order Fireball Burgers and extol the virtues of KISS' 1977 opus "Love Gun." On nice-weather weekends, the place is likely to pack out for brunch, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It will be undoubtedly entertaining to hear Colony moms ordering "Lick it Up" French toast and Huevos Rock-Cheros.
This is the 15th location of Rock & Brews, which also has two spots in LAX, two locations inside arenas and one in Cabo San Lucas, and they have got their eye on "thoughtful worldwide expansion," according to press materials. Rock & Brews has no qualms about becoming the next ubiquitous American chain eatery. They're also really pushing for the dining-meets-concert vibe, particularly with the patio stage and concert lighting throughout the restaurant.
Considering the masses' love for all things KISS, this could become a bustling spot as the massive Grandscape development unfolds.
Rock & Brews, 5351 Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive, The Colony, 972-584-1670
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