Earlier this month, I attended the grand opening media event for the new Rock & Brews Oviedo. Founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, the eatery is the first Florida location for the chain.
The event started with Simmons and Stanley leading the Pledge of Allegiance with several veterans by their side, then a ribbon cutting to officially open the restaurant.
Inside, seating in the two-story tall open room was family style with long tables. Some were bar stool height, while others were regular table height. There was also some seating on the outside patio. Two of the four walls were covered in windows, which let in a lot of natural light during the day.
As we walked in, Stanley and Simmons greeted everyone, shaking their hands and thanking them for coming. I found that to be a nice touch – a lot of media events like this, celebrities will hide inside, just making minimal appearances.
The tops of the walls were decorated with various icons of rock, including plenty of KISS. There were also several TVs on all four walls, some tuned to sports, and some playing a collection of vintage and modern rock (no sound). A separate rock playlist provided our music to eat to.
We were encouraged to share the food being passed around with others at our table. The Rockin’ House Salad was already at the table, and it was a decent house salad.
We had two different pizzas to taste: The R&B Special, topped with meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and black olives; and a half-and-half pepperoni and plain cheese. The pizzas were good, as far as non-pizzeria pizzas go. The toppings were plentiful, and the crust was chewy on the edges.
A platter of Spicy Asian Wings were next. They had a nice sweet/spicy flavor to them, and were served with ranch dressing, and some carrot and celery sticks.
It took a few tries, but we flagged down a server with a platter of the Carolina Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs. You could smell the sweet mustard BBQ sauce before the plate hit the table, and this dish was a winner. Plenty of meat on the bone, and the sauce was just tangy enough to hit the back of your mouth.
There was another chicken dish on the same platter, but I don’t know what it was. The servers would drop and run without actually explaining what any of the dishes were. It tasted good, but I couldn’t tell you anything else about it.
Holding up the “Brews” part of the name, the wall behind the bar had more than 25 brews on tap, plus a variety of wines, sangria (two decanters sat on the bar, one red and one white), and non-alcoholic options.
While we were eating, Stanley and Simmons took to the stage in the middle of the restaurant to do a presentation of a $10,000 check to Orlando VA Medical Center. Stanley said it was very important that they honor and support the veterans of this country, and they were happy to present the check to help out Orlando’s veterans.
After the food was cleared, Simmons and Stanley went out to a spot on the patio and took photos with all of the veterans in attendance, along with the media. Simmons was playful and engaged with everyone. Stanley was pleasant, but a bit distracted.
It was an entertaining afternoon.
Rock and Brews Oviedo is located at 7131 Red Bug Lake Road in Oviedo. The menu includes wraps, wings, salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pizza, seafood, a few desserts, and more. Hours are 11am to 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, or to check out the full menu, visit rockandbrews/oviedo.
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