80s classic rock and roll band KISS, which owns a nationwide chain of 20 restaurants and bars, are behinde the opening of their first Rock & Brews Casino, in Braman, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, May 10. The grand opening will feature singer Paul Stanley and bass player Gene Simmons, and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and entertainment, scheduled to begin at 1 PM.
Through an agreement with the Kaw Nation, the parties took over the former Southwinds Casino and transformed it into the brand new Rock & Brews Casino Braman property.
Bruce McClure, general manager, said in a statement: “We’re bringing a lot of what we’ve learned along the way to the Braman facility. The newly built property will benefit the Kaw Nation and surrounding communities by employing 200 jobs and providing a space for locals and travelers alike to enjoy delicious food and drinks, play exciting new games and immerse themselves in all things rock ‘n’ roll”.
The property will feature more than 400 slot machines and electronic card tables, and will constantly display videos of great concerts. Classic rock anthems will sound on the casino floor.
Adam Goldberg, CEO of Rock & Brews, spoke about the new Braman facility and said: “What we have here is totally unique and it cannot be found anywhere near here in Oklahoma”.
Being 55 miles away from Wichita, which is the closest large city to the casino, and 120 miles away from Tulsa, Rock & Brews has found an advantageous location to run its business. “We really like that I-35 corridor, because we believe bringing in our 150-seat restaurant is going to be a draw to commuters and travelers”, Goldberg said.
According to the CEO, there will be an indoor stage and an outdoor patio where the casino intends to host shows by bands from nearby cities. For the opening night, the property will offer AC/DC tribute act Back In Black.
Rock & Brews restaurant in Buena Park.
Goldberg described the venue as a “rock ‘n’ roll cathedral”, for its decor and images of rock stars. “We work daily with both Paul and Gene on our projects. They’re incredibly supportive of the Rock & Brews brand, since they’re co-founders. Paul and Gene see and approve our design plans and our menus”, he elaborated.
The Rock & Brews Casino in Braman saw three years of delay in its renovation project due to COVID-19. KISS and the Kaw Nation partnered in early 2017 to replace SouthWind with a rock & roll-themed gaming destination. The property was originally slated to open in 2019.
Simmons and Stanley have been talking about the idea of opening a KISS-themed casino for many years. While the first will be in Oklahoma, the band had another development in mind in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Rock & Brews Casino in Biloxi render.
The Biloxi Rock & Brews casino project was first proposed in early 2020 and intended to replace the shuttered Margaritaville Casino on the Back Bay, featuring over 1,000 slot machines, dozens of table games and a sportsbook. The $200 million undertaking was to additionally bring a 300-room hotel to the property.
The project was announced in February 2020, but was put on hold due to COVID. While developers of the project say they hope to move forward with construction, the site was put up for sale in March. However, the construction project is reportedly still in motion.