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KISS members celebrate restaurant's opening with vets' luncheon


Overland Park is rocking and rolling all day long as two members of the iconic band KISS are in town for the ribbon cutting of their Rock & Brews restaurant.

As part of the restaurant's grand opening, band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hosted a luncheon for 100 returning veterans and Wounded Warriors where they got to enjoy food at Rock & Brews with the two rock legends.

Veterans in attendance said music like that of KISS helped get them through tough times.

"They are just not rock gods, but rock legends. They have been doing it for 40 years. They can still get up on stage and do it today. You know of all the bands I could think of that military gets pumped up for, KISS is definitely one of them," said veteran William Mathieson.

Both Simmons and Stanley said the veterans who have served our country are the real heroes, deserving of much more than Thursday's lunch.

"The entire proceeds from today will go right back to our veterans hospital right here in the greater Kansas City area. We have to give back. You just have to give back. You may not be able to do what we can do, but at the very least if you are standing in line at a Starbucks and a proud member of our military is in back of you, stand aside and make way for a hero," Simmons said.

"Like today we get celebrate in each city the Wounded Warriors, the people who make this all possible for us. We couldn't be here without those people," Stanley said.

Veteran Ron Webster said their songs got him through some tough times in the Army.

"We couldn't have music in the barracks and stuff so I had it hid. But I would sneak and listen to it. And singing that song constantly throughout basics, anywhere I was sent. I always had that song and it was my mantra," he said and then proceeded to sing the lyrics with Simmons. "I don't need to get wasted. It only holds me down. I've got a will of my own and the guts to stand alone."

The new restaurant at 135th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park promises to serve up a fun atmosphere with classic Americana food and 53 craft beers on tap.

"Bring your friends, bring your kids, your family and some of our Rock & Brews you can bring your dogs. Pets are welcome. I don't mean your husband. I mean like canines. See what I did there?" Simmons said.

KCTV5's Sandra Olivas also had to ask Simmons to show off his famous super-sized tongue.

"I can't stick out my tongue because it's hideously long, kids are in the room and the floor is dirty," he said.

Simmons finally agreed to show a trick he does with his tongue. Hidden behind his cell phone, Simmons twisted his tongue back and forth, leaving Olivas speechless.

Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Stanley and Simmons will host an opening gala that includes a special performance by the Kansas City-based tribute band Almost KISS.

All ticket proceeds will benefit Kansas City VA Medical Center's Adaptive Sports Program.

Click here to read more about the restaurant's opening and see what's on their menu.

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