UPDATE:Rock & Brews in Oviedo is hosting its grand opening today alongside KISS band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.
The event, held at the restaurant's Red Bug Lake Road location, will benefit the Orlando VA Medical Center's Lake Nona Fisher House, according to a release from Rock & Brews. Stanley and Simmons will be cutting the ribbon with Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere, serving lunch to military personnel and hosting a meet and greet with fans.
The meet and greet will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
One foot through the entrance and it's as if you have just entered through the backstage of a rock concert.
Illuminated by lights of different colors and surrounded by memorabilia of rock bands, the popular chain restaurant Rock & Brews is planning to open this November in nearby Oviedo, just a few miles from campus.
Rock & Brews is a place for good vibes, said Rock & Brews' manager Sherman Harper.
"When you walk in, you will feel like you're walking into a party, but at the same time it's a restaurant," Harper said.
Rock & Brews is focused on pleasing a variety of ages, Harper said, with a playground for kids on the patio, classic-rock paraphernalia for older generations, craft beers for young professionals and even a dog menu for pets who accompany their owners.
"The restaurant is based solely on being a central meeting point for all members of a vast community," general manager Kris Maronpot said.
The restaurant will also have large TV screens for sports showings, with a sound system to get the customers feeling like they are actually in the stands.
Unique from other restaurants in the area, Rock & Brews will bring a California cuisine to Oviedo, and Maronpot said he thinks this type of food will appeal to a large group of people. The restaurant will be serving a variety of 56 beers on tap, with happy hours Monday through Friday.
Customers can enjoy their meals in booths, but there will also be a large section of community seating, which includes picnic tables that seat enough people to get comfortable and share the fun experience.
"The whole place is very different from everything else in the area," Maronpot said. "This is a fun community place where you can catch a little bit of a buzz and enjoy some great music with people around you."
As for an opening date, the restaurant is still under construction, but will be having a soft opening in November. There will be a grand opening in January that will likely include an appearance by two of the members of the the classic rock band KISS, Maronpot said.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, two of the members of KISS, are partners in the Rock & Brews business, and the Rock & Brews managers are hopeful that the two members will be at the restaurant for a meet-and-greet.
A limited number of tickets will go on sale for the grand opening, which will be announced on the Rock & Brews website, and the managers of the restaurant will write a check of a "sizable donation" to a local charity.
"We'd rather invest back in the community and help out," Maronpot said. "People would feel better about spending their money at our business. Everybody wins."
Although the restaurant is only about 10 weeks into construction, Maronpot said the basics are pretty much set in stone on what to expect. However, there is still one thing that the restaurant needs: Employees.
UCF students can start applying for jobs, as the managers are already hiring Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Tavo Mendez, the restaurant's kitchen manager. The hiring process will last through the month of October, and applications will only be available on-site.
The managers will set up interviews once the applications are filled out, and Maronpot said they will give everyone a chance.
Additionally, managers are working toward partnering with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management to offer students paid internships at their restaurant, said Maronpot.
"We would work together something with the school so that students get trained in the kitchen, bartending and serving, and [also] learn the real aspects of ground training," he said.
Maronpot suggested that UCF students should take the opportunity of being a part of a newly opened restaurant, starting fresh from the beginning.
As a team of professionals, Maronpot said the managers have been working together for about 15 years.
The environment isn't new to any of them, and Maronpot encourages UCF students to join the staff and become part of the Rock & Brews family.
For more information and updates on the restaurant's opening, visit rockandbrews.com/Oviedo.