Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are co-founders of Rock & Brews Restaurants
For those of you who like to rock and roll all night and party every day, well, ilani is going to have a place specifically for you.
Rock & Brews Restaurant and Concert Bar is coming to ilani with the opening expected in the spring of 2024.
The groundbreaking ceremony was Tuesday, and Hall of Fame rock stars Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss were at ilani to get the party started. Stanley and Simmons are co-founders of Rock & Brews, a restaurant that provides a dining experience with a Rock ‘n Roll twist.
“Rock and Brews has the mantra of bringing great people, great food, and great music together,” Simmons said. “We all grew up with classic rock. The culture is classic rock. You’ll hear your favorite tunes. It’s about a lot of people enjoying a lot of things at the same time.”
There are 23 Rock & Brews in six states. The restaurant at ilani will be No. 24 and it will be the first in the Northwest.
Kiss, which first formed in 1973, is currently performing its End of the Road Tour. The band was in Seattle on Monday night. Then made its way south to Ridgefield for Tuesday’s ceremony.
“Playing the Paramount Theater (in Portland) was amazing,” Stanley recalled of the early days of Kiss. “The idea of playing a theater and knowing it will lead to bigger and better things. We used to stay at the downtown Hilton and play at the Paramount. I have great memories of the area.”
Kiss played the Paramount in 1973, then again in 1974. By 1976, Kiss was selling out the Memorial Coliseum.
“The Northwest is cooler than you think it is not because it’s the Northwest but because the people are so cool,” Simmons said.
That is particularly true of the Cowlitz Tribe, Simmons added.
Simmons, Stanley, and other business partners met with the late David Barnett, who was the chairman of the tribe, to discuss the possibility of Rock & Brews coming to ilani. Barnett died in the spring of 2022. Barnett was passionate about classic rock music.
“The tribe was fantastic and shared a vision with us with what they could do,” Stanley said.
“When Dave went to the other side, we said we were going to continue his dream,” said Patty Kinswa-Gaiser, the chairwoman of the tribe.
Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony is the official launch of that dream which will become a reality.
“If you’ve ever met the Cowlitz folks, the tribe, you cannot find a more gracious, welcoming, considerate, and kind people,” Simmons said.
Stanley noted that Rock & Brews is only as good as the team. In this case, that is the tribe, and the Cowlitz Tribe, he said, has been “incredible” to work with.
He also said that he and Simmons will not be here just for this day, for the groundbreaking. Ridgefield and ilani will see them again.
“The food will be fantastic. The company will be fantastic,” Stanley said. “We originally started it partially because we wanted a place we could bring our families.”
He said when it opens, people will be “gasping with pride” with the restaurant.
“This isn’t going to be the only time you see us,” Stanley added. “I might be serving you a burger.”
Stanley then concluded the opening ceremony by smashing a guitar into a drum. Rock n Roll, baby.
Rock & Brews will have 10,000 square feet of space featuring 15 screens and a vast performance stage to host local artists and national acts. It is being built where The Muze lounge and Rose and Thorn restaurant were located.
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