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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023

Restaurant Chain Rock & Brews Gets New Lead Man

A new frontman is taking the stage at Rock & Brews, the midsize international rock ‘n’ roll-themed restaurant chain based in Manhattan Beach.

The company hired Michael Sullivan, former director of emerging brands at chain restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings, as chief executive last month.

South Bay hotelier and restaurateur Mike Zislis, who co-founded the chain in 2012, said the move comes as the 20-unit chain plans to more than double its number of locations in the next two years. The group chose Sullivan for his experience growing the number of Buffalo Wild Wings stores from 150 to 1,200.

“He took them from 150 (stores) to the promised land and we’re hoping he’ll do the same for us,” said Zislis, who co-founded Rock & Brews with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band Kiss and rock industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano.

The company had been without a chief executive since April, when Mike Reynolds left for Southeast fast-food restaurant chain Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits.

Zislis had been running the company, which includes three corporate locations, since Reynolds’ departure. Each store makes between $4 million to $6 million annually, with a profit margin between 10 to 20 percent, said Zislis.

Staff reporter Caroline Anderson covers restaurants, retail, and hospitality. She can be reached at canderson@labusinessjournal.com.

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