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Gene Simmons' Rock & Brews restaurant chain is coming to Chicago

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Chicago may soon be losing its Hard Rock Hotel, but it's about to gain several rock-themed restaurants that serve dishes like Sgt. Pepper's Jalapeño Poppers and Ring of Fire hot wings. Rock & Brews, the casual dining chain co-founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, will open 10 to 15 locations in Chicagoland within the next five to seven years, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Founded in 2012, Rock & Brews currently boasts 20 locations across America. Opening multiple locations in the hyper-competitive Chicago market seems like a bold move for the relatively young company, but the characteristically outspoken Simmons seems supremely confident about the chain's chances for success in in the city, telling the Tribune, "Either Chicago is America or it's not. Everywhere we've gone, it works beyond expectation."

What Simmons might not realize is that rock music and dining are already deeply connected in Chicago. Local chain Kuma's Corner is already serving metal-themed burgers at multiple locations, while music venues like Reggies and Lincoln Hall provide a place to get a decent meal in spaces that revolve around live music.

Perhaps Simmons will learn a bit more about Chicago when he's in town with KISS, headlining the Chicago Open Air festival on Friday, July 14. If not, he'll be back in the city in August for the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con—someone should probably take him to Kuma's.  

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