Wesley Chapel may be next in line for rock royalty — or one of their franchises, at least. Rock & Brews Restaurant, the American-style eatery with famous founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, is looking to open its first Tampa Bay location.
"It was primarily based on where the good restaurant sales were coming from," said Brett Anz, co-owner of the franchise. He and his business filed an environmental resource permit for the project Dec. 26 with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. They currently operate five locations.
The chain is known for its eclectic rock vibe with album cover decorations and rock music videos. That won't change for the future Wesley Chapel location, Anz said, which is slated for 10,700 square feet at the Cypress Creek Town Center.
This Rock & Brews will likely feature an indoor and outdoor bar serving around 50 craft beers, patio games such as giant Jenga and cornhole and live music performances on the weekends ranging from classic and contemporary rock to country pop.
Other aspects will be distinctly Tampa Bay. The restaurant may dedicate a hand-painted mural to rock artists from the area. Many of the furnishings, especially reclaimed wood, will be locally sourced.
And one of the most noticeable local ties, Anz said, will be a memorial outside the restaurant to a to-be-determined local military member who was killed in the line of service.
"We don't talk about it a lot because we're not trying to get some extra credit for being patriotic," Anz said. "But our group is about patriotism."
His restaurants hold fundraisers for local and military-focused organizations and play Jimi Hendrix's rendition of the national anthem each morning before the shift begins.
There is still a ways to go before the franchise can open its doors. Anz is in the process of buying the three acres of land the restaurant will sit on and securing funding for the venture. He expects to submit permits for the building soon. Anz hopes to start construction over the summer and open in October.
Contact Malena Carollo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.