Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons hosted and celebrated the grand opening for their first Rock & Brews restaurant on the East Coast. Video by Heath Chapman. Posted Jan. 7, 2014
If you want to "rock and roll all night and party every day," Rock & Brews is the place to go — at least two members of the band KISS would probably tell you that.
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons hosted and celebrated the grand opening for their first Rock & Brews restaurant on the East Coast.
As partners of Rock & Brews, Stanley and Simmons welcomed veterans, wounded warriors, active military and guests to their new restaurant in Oviedo on Tuesday.
Stanley and Simmons came through the front doors of the restaurant to welcome the awaiting media and veterans outside at 11:30 a.m. After a pledge to the flag, the two members of KISS joined Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere for a ribbon cutting.
The crowd excitedly entered the restaurant to be seated for a military luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Stanley and Simmons then presented a $10,000 check for the Orlando VA Medical Center.
"We've been able to raise probably half a million dollars for the Wounded Warriors Project through donations from our ticket sales. We want to continue that with Rock & Brews," Stanley said.
Charity is something that's an obligation, not an option, Stanley said.
"To me, charity is something that we do because we can, and we all can. It's just a matter of how much," he said.
He expressed that liberty and freedom are being taken for granted, but more attention should be drawn toward those who actually make that possible.
"The more attention we can draw to [veterans], and the more we can honor them, the better," he said. "Sometimes giving is its own reward. When you give, you actually reap the benefits."
While veterans filled the restaurant's tables, servers were constantly bringing out plates of food. Not only did this serve as a gesture of kindness, but one of thankfulness.
Scott Paul, one of the Rock & Brews owners, pulled the grand opening together along with his staff, and it led to a success. Simmons said Scott goes to work every day because he's proud.
Stanley, Simmons and the staff of Rock & Brews could not express enough how thankful they were for those who serve for the country.
"This day is important for us because talk is cheap, and every once in a while you have to roll up your sleeves and actually show those who serve that they're appreciated," Simmons said.
As the pleased and satisfied veterans left the restaurant, 200 guests were waiting outside for a meet-and-greet event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In a line that surrounded the perimeter of the parking lot, KISS fans awaited their mix of food sampling and quality time with Stanley and Paul for a photo opportunity.
A portion of the ticket sale proceeds from the meet-and-greet event will benefit the Orlando VA Medical Center's Fisher House in Lake Nona.
"What we're doing here is making sure [the restaurant] is everything for everybody," Simmons said.
As its slogan reads, the staff and partners of Rock & Brews were truly "serving those who rock."
Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.