Everyone – Thanks for playing along with my April Fool’s joke (just chalk it up to Des Moines celebrating the best holidays – like Halloween – a day early). One of the reasons this post got so detailed is that I am actually a huge fan and would love to open a KISS burger. In fact, I wanted this post to serve as the first stage of my pitch for the concept and sent it to Gene Simmons’ reps last week. Hopefully this isn’t the end of the idea; but at the very least you can guarantee that these KISS burgers will be available at Zombie Burger sometime soon!

Some of you have wondered why I’ve been MIA around these parts and took that secret trip to LA last week – well, with the announcement that the rock band KISS is visiting Des Moines, I can finally share the great news. I’m proud to announce that KISS BURGER will be opening in spring 2015!

I have always been a huge KISS fan (little known fact: my classmates and I dressed up and performed “Detroit Rock City” for the McKee school talent show back in the 70’s). In the year after Zombie was up and running, my thoughts turned to other cool burger concepts, but only one thing could be cooler than zombies – KISS!

When I first got the opportunity to meet Gene Simmons in 2012, I of course pitched him my idea for a KISS themed burger joint. I had no idea that Gene was considering the same thing –  in just a few hours, we hammered out the menu and overall concept.

Burgers to me are fun, and I’ve always believed that it’s possible to make seriously great hamburgers in an extremely unique and fun environment. But if you thought the burgers at Zombie were insane, wait until you get a look at what we have in store for KISS BURGER! The creative genius Chef Tom McKern, Gene and I have developed a list of seriously intense burgers that will make you “shout it out loud!”


All the burgers will be quarter pounders made with our special blend of beef; order it “dressed to kill” with ketchup, mayo, shredded lettuce and onion. Get them “Hotter Than Hell” for mustard grilled patties, fried onion and special sauce. Want a double? Order it “deuce!”


A few of our signature burgers will include THE FIREHOUSE (pepper jack cheese, deep fried sport peppers, habanero mayo), THE ROCK AND ROLL OVER (American cheese, onion, KISS Army sauce, Black Diamond BBQ pulled pork and pickles marinated in Red Bull, cherry kool-aid and jalapeños) and the classy BETH BURGER (Brie, Riesling-poached pears and dijonaise).

“Detroit Rock City Dogs” will be a nod to Detroit-style coneys; we’ll use custom made 12-inch jalapeño dogs called “Love Guns” and have versions topped with habanero nacho cheese sauce, fried sport peppers, onion strings, fire roasted pepper guacamole, and brisket coney sauce.

And you can bet there will be a massive bar ­ our signature COLD GIN cocktails include the CALLING DR. LOVE FIZZ (gin, cream, egg white, rose water and lemon), the STRUTTER (gin, blanco tequila, Aperol, berry gastrique and lime) and the GOD OF THUNDER (gin, ginger beer and lime). In addition, we’ll have a large selection of creative “mocktails” that fans of all ages will be able to enjoy.

Just like at Zombie Burger, we’re lucky to have tapped acclaimed artist Ron Wagner for restaurant decor. And for the true fans: the space’s featured mural will incorporate the band’s actual blood in the ink (just like the 1977 KISS comic book)!

Gene and I are very excited to share more details with you in the next year ­ stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter account for the latest KISS BURGER news!