Sophie Bolich

Rock & Brews Opens at Potawatomi

KISS frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons cut the ribbon for the rock-and-roll restaurant.

By - Aug 1st, 2023 03:00 pm
Gene Simmons (left), James A. Crawford, Dominic Ortiz and Paul Stanley at the ribbon-cutting. Photo taken July 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Gene Simmons (left), James A. Crawford, Dominic Ortiz and Paul Stanley at the ribbon-cutting. Photo taken July 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Several hours before the official opening of Rock & Brews, founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley took to the restaurant’s in-house stage. It was a full house, albeit not the kind the KISS band members are accustomed to.

The musicians, joined by members of the Forest County Potawatomi Community and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino leadership, cut the ribbon to the new restaurant as a crowd of hungry rock and roll fans looked on.

“You wanted the best, and we brought you the best,” said Dominic Ortiz, CEO of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Paul and Gene into one of the most fabulous cities in the United States, and to partner with the Forest County Potawatomi Nation in joining our family as we join their Rock & Brews family.”

The 6,000-square-foot restaurant is a true reflection of its founders — every inch of floor, wall and ceiling space is bedecked with flashy decor including portraits of iconic musicians, a platinum record catwalk and a collection of cow skulls, each with its own demon makeup.

The space, which can accommodate up to 200 guests, also features a double-sided bar with gaming machines and a private dining room for parties and events.

Located just past the skywalk entrance on the third floor of the casino, Milwaukee’s Rock & Brews is the 23nd location for the American restaurant chain. It started in California in 2010.

“We’re excited about our new partnership with the Potawatomi team to open a Rock & Brews restaurant in their [casino],” said Stanley and Simmons in a joint statement. “We’ve all worked hard together to create a Rock & Brews destination we could be proud to share with the community and that is without a doubt what we’ve done.”

Rock & Brews serves a menu of creatively-named American cuisine, including options like Rock’n Hot Chick Wings, Alice Cooper Poison Burger and the Demon Chicken Sandwich.

At the bar, guests can choose from 48 domestic and import tap beers, as well as Sprecher root beer.

The Aug. 1 opening marked a major milestone in the casino’s $190 million renovation, which will also include the addition of four gaming areas and a $15 million VIP room complete with a show kitchen, entertainment stage and high-limit gaming tables.

“You think 2023 looks great, wait until you see what Potawatomi has in store for Milwaukee in 2024,” Ortiz said.

Rock & Brews is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight. Bar hours extend to bar close each night.

Missed out on the grand opening? KISS will be back in Wisconsin next month for a concert at Crandon International Raceway. The performance, part of the band’s End of the Road tour, will take place Sept. 1.


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