Rock & Brews, the family-friendly restaurant and entertainment concept co-founded by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, along with Co-Founders and Managing Partners Hotelier/Restauranteur Michael Zislis and concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano, announced that Michael “Sully” Sullivan has been named President & Chief Executive Officer. Sully, a Certified Franchise Executive, brings more than 25 years of casual dining experience to his position at Rock & Brews, having most recently served as Emerging Brands Director at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Sully began his career in the restaurant industry at age 15, bussing tables at Aurelios Pizza, a 42-unit Chicago-based restaurant chain. At 22, he purchased his first Subway restaurant and over the course of 14 years, his business grew to include 18 restaurants representing four brands. After selling his restaurant brands, he joined Buffalo Wild Wings in 2003, where, working closely with the brand’s renowned CEO Sally Smith, he utilized his franchising experience to help grow the brand from 150 locations to more than 1200 locations. He was named Emerging Brands Director in 2012 and charged with purchasing and integrating new brands into the Buffalo Wild Wings family.
“Sully’s experience as a multi-brand franchisee and restaurant owner and partner, combined with his success as part of the team responsible for the meteoric growth of Buffalo Wild Wings, made him a natural choice to spearhead the next phase of Rock & Brews’ expansion,” says Zislis. “He is well versed in all aspects of franchise operations and restaurant expansion. He has a keen eye for identifying top notch multi-unit franchisees and we have confidence that his leadership will play an important role as Rock & Brews continues its strategic expansion and diversification.”
Rock & Brews currently has 19 locations throughout the United States and Mexico, including neighborhood restaurants, as well as airport, arena and casino restaurant concepts. The brand opened its first casino restaurant at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Southern California in November of 2016 and recently broke ground for the first Rock & Brews Casino Resort, which is being developed in partnership with Kaw Gaming, Inc. in Oklahoma.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and after looking at dozens of emerging brands in the restaurant industry, I met the Rock & Brews principles at an industry conference and subsequently visited several Rock & Brews locations. I was so impressed with the brand, the passion of its founding partners and its potential that I not only accepted the role of President and CEO, I personally invested in the brand,” says Sully. “Rock & Brews is a dynamic one-of-a-kind experience. It is simply cool, and I look forward to being a part of its growth.”
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