The brand vision extends beyond just restaurants. In May, Rock & Brews debuted its first casino in Oklahoma, as part of a licensing deal with the former Kaw Southwind Casino Braman. Goldberg says that prior to the agreement, the local casino didn’t provide much branding and was looking for an elevated experience for new and existing customers. Rock & Brews entered the fold and supplied several foundational, colorful features represented in its restaurants around the U.S., like photos of music stars, memorabilia, and filling the airwaves with classic rock ‘n’ roll music.
The project was years in the making and went into construction during COVID. And Oklahoma was chosen for a reason; the state has one of the largest tribal gaming industries in the country, with nearly 140 casinos and an economic impact of almost $10 billion, according to the American Gaming Organization.
The casino features hundreds of games, and of course, a Rock & Brews restaurant. Phase two is building a Rock & Brews hotel, allowing visitors from other areas to extend their stay.
“Working with Kaw nation and their tribal council proved to be a great partnership, especially for this first casino for Rock & Brews,” Goldberg says. “We work incredibly well together from the early stages of design, to grand opening. Rock and Brews offers an incredible amount of support to our partners really that begins from the design stage all the way through the opening and operations to guarantee success through and through. It's hard enough opening up a restaurant in the neighborhood that you already exist in. But now we have taken our ability to run great operations on the road 2,000 miles away and work with the staff at Rock & Brews Casino in Braman to experience the same hospitality in Oklahoma as we do in our corporate stores. And that's really important for us.”
Rock & Brews is looking at several opportunities to be the owner and operator of its own casinos as opposed to lending its branding to an existing property, but for now, licensing is the more feasible avenue. At least three additional deals similar to Braman are on the way, including themed hotels and an RV park, which adds additional rooms without high costs of construction.
The idea, Goldberg says, is to create a brand that serves as a destination for all. That’s exactly what customers have been asking for.
“Our brand is incredibly strong right now, not only financially strong through our sales, but through our customer participation that we know around the country in multiple states that people want this experience,” Goldberg says.