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ROCK & BREWS Ridgefield, WA Grand Opening With Photos!

By Krishta Abruzzini, Pacific Northwest Writer
Monday, April 29, 2024 @ 10:36 AM


Celebrates Grand Opening On April 23 Wiht Free PErformance By Gene Simmons

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All Photos By Krishta Photography

Ilani celebrated the grand opening of Rock & Brews Restaurant and Concert Bar and its 7th anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a free performance featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Rock & Brews co-founder, Gene Simmons.

The opening is part of Ilani's ongoing commitment to bring best-in-class hospitality to its guests and the surrounding community. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, featuring remarks from Gene Simmons, Ilani President and General Manager Kara Fox-LaRose, Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser, and Adam Goldberg, CEO and partner at Rock & Brews.

"As we open the doors to Rock & Brews, we invite you to join us in celebrating not just a meal, but an experience-a celebration of great food and rock 'n' roll music," said Fox-LaRose. "This is a one-of-a-kind experience, offering amazing food, supporting our local craft breweries and entertainers, and providing memorable experiences for our guests as we continue to celebrate our community and our region."

"Today, we celebrate the positive impact Rock & Brews will have for Southwest Washington and The Cowlitz Indian Tribe," said Kinswa-Gaiser. "This new venture not only signifies progress and prosperity for our Tribe but also brings many growth opportunities for our community.

We look forward to welcoming guests to indulge in our menu, handcrafted food with the locally-sourced ingredients, craft rocktails, an unrivaled selection of 24 local and craft beers on tap -- and a heaping helping of rock 'n' roll," said Goldberg. "Here's to an exciting partnership and many memorable experiences ahead."

Simmons and his KISS bandmate Paul Stanley co-founded Rock & Brews with a team that also includes entrepreneur, restaurateur and hotelier, Michael Zislis, who is behind some of Southern California's most well-known establishments like The Strand House and shade Hotel, as well as concert industry veterans, Dave Furano (who sidebar, has the BEST stories to tell ever) and Dell Furano. The team opened the first Rock & Brews near LAX airport in Southern California in 2010. Since then, they have expanded the growing franchise to include over twenty locations in California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, now Washington, with more coming soon. For more information, please visit www.rockandbrews.com and follow Rock & Brews on Instagram and TikTok.

Announced earlier this year, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe's partnership with Rock & Brews puts the rock-inspired concept center stage at Ilani, enabling the expansion of live music and events, and accompanied by a great new dining option. Also, with a further nod to Rock & Brews' KISS-inspired roots, the menu will feature Tommy Thayer's Rock & Soil Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Pete's Mountain Vineyard. Thayer was the band's lead guitarist and vocalist.

"It's a great feeling that our friends and wine aficionados around the world can finally experience our Rock & Soil Willamette Valley Pinot Noir," said Thayer. "It's been a labor of love creating an amazing wine right off our vineyards at Pete's Mountain."

With a passion for music at its core, Rock & Brews provides a high-energy atmosphere. The 10,000 square foot space features 15 LED screens and a vast performance stage to host local artists and well-known national acts. The venue will feature two full-service bars, countertop gaming and plenty of room for dancing.

The venue is beautiful and the expansion from Ilani's previous space is an open and welcoming spot filled with rock & roll decor from floor to ceiling.

The opening/ribbon cutting ceremony featured a tribal drum group with a blessing from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, with remarks from tribal and project leaders and Rock & Brew's co-founder, Gene Simmons. Simmons took a few very brief questions from the media and seemed very proud to be in partnership with Ilani.

The GENE SIMMONS BAND played the first ever set on the new stage that evening. It marked the KISS star's first appearance on stage since the band played their farewell show in December, and it was also his solo band's first outing since September 2018. His latest lineup features guitarists Brent Woods (Sebastian Bach, Vince Neil), Zach Throne (Corey Taylor), plus drummer Brian Tichy (The Dead Daisies, Whitesnake, Foreigner).

The GENE SIMMONS BAND played several KISS classics alongside covers of MOTORHEAD's "Ace of Spades" and LED ZEPPELIN's "Communication Breakdown". At one point, Simmons jokingly asked the audience for requests. He was funny and interactive the entire show with the audience. He pointed at his ring several times pointing out that he was 'spoken for' with an obvious nod to Shannon Tweed, but that the rest of his band was single. Simmons, along with his bandmates were fierce and their set flawless. It's always a pleasure watching drummer, Brian Tichy perform as he is just a monster musician. THE DEAD DAISES were foolish to let him go, but it's a super score for Gene Simmons and band.

At one point, Simmons prodded former KISS bandmate, guitarist Tommy Thayer (who was sitting in the audience) to get up onstage, as he joked about his amazingly bouffant, well coiffed hairstyle. Thayer came up onstage and played "Parasite" and "Lick it Up", and indeed, the songs were as magnificent as his hair.

Simmons then brought out Ilani President and General Manager Kara Fox-LaRose, along with 2-other women to sing the song "I Was Made For Lovin' You", with an explanation that he couldn't possibly sing that song as high as his former bandmate, KISS' Paul Stanley.

The band ended the night with "Rock And Roll All Nite", with the packed audience singing loudly to the legendary KISS anthem song.

The setlist:

"Deuce"
"War Machine"
"Detroit Rock City"
"Weapons of Mass Destruction"
"Ace of Spades" (Motorhead)
"Communication Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin)
"I Love It Loud"
"Shout It Out Loud"
"Love Gun"
"Calling Dr. Love"
"Cold Gin"
"Parasite" (with Tommy Thayer)
"Lick It Up" (with Tommy Thayer)
"Are you Ready?"
"100.000 Years"
"Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll"
"I Was Made For Lovin' You "
"Rock and Roll All Nite"

A big congratulations to the Cowlitz Tribe and Ilani Casino and all the partners of the Rock & Brews franchises. Visit Ilani Casino at: https://Ilaniresort.com/

Check out some more photos from the event!
All Photos By Krishta Photography


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