Food & Drink

Brew, pub fare served with a KISS at new Vacaville restaurant

Rock & Brews, a rock’n’roll themed casual dining spot, will open Monday in Vacaville. The business is the most recent business venture of rock band KISS frontmen Paul Stanley, left, and Gene Simmons.
Rock & Brews, a rock’n’roll themed casual dining spot, will open Monday in Vacaville. The business is the most recent business venture of rock band KISS frontmen Paul Stanley, left, and Gene Simmons. Courtesy of Wills Communications

Rock & Brews, a rock’n’roll-themed casual dining chain and the most recent business venture of Kiss frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, will open Monday in Vacaville, becoming the chain’s first Northern California location.

The restaurant, which bills itself as having the ambiance of a “family-friendly concert event,” will feature 64 beers on tap, 10 of which will be dedicated to local favorites from Heretic, Berryessa and Mraz. The menu consists of what franchise owner Jon Mesko described as “dressed up” pub fare, including burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings.

Stanley, who became involved with the business shortly after its founding, described Rock & Brews as “more a lifestyle than a restaurant.”

And while the atmosphere and decor lean heavily on classic rock homages, don’t write off the quality of the food, cautioned Stanley.

“It’s not a themed restaurant in the sense that it’s crappy food with the idea of selling you a T-shirt,” Stanley said. “The restaurant, regardless of the fact that the background is rock’n’roll, would stand on its own just for its food.”

Founded in 2012 in El Segundo, Rock & Brews has quickly amassed 22 locations. The Vacaville location, at the site of the former Chevy’s on 200 Nut Tree Parkway, marks Rock & Brews’ sixth location owned by Mesko.

Simmons and Stanley have been more than just the face of the business, Mesko said.

“My expectation was ‘Oh, they’re celeb owners. They’re going to pop in take a photo and jet out,’ ” Mesko said. “But that was not the case. The amount of time they make for us, and me, and the local communities, it’s just amazing.”

The duo’s influence can be seen anywhere from the decor to the menu – something Stanley, a noted foodie on Twitter, has been known to tweak.

“We’re always trying to make it the restaurant that we would love to be at,” Stanley said.

Barbara Harvey: 916-321-1821

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