KISS superstar Gene Simmons surprises crowd at Culver’s in Rock Falls

ROCK FALLS, Illinois -

Since Rock Falls is a town where "Rock" comes first, it's only natural to welcome tour buses.

"Uh oh, they've got a bus," recalled Culver's customer Ashley Schmitt, on Friday, May 4.

But Thursday's band break at Culver's really rocked her world.

"We only saw four or five guys with long hair," she remembered.

Schmitt didn't know that a rock superstar was about to make her day.

"You don't announce that you're coming," she continued.  "You just show up and surprise everybody."

"I thought it looked like Gene Simmons," said Dina Razo, a manager at the Culver's in Rock Falls.

Yes, it was KISS superstar Gene Simmons, who was hankering for his first taste of frozen custard.

"I knew, as soon as he came in, it was him," said Culver's Team Trainer Kelly Elder.

Simmons and his band were en route to the Chicago-area for a show and stopped for lunch.

"Absolutely, Rock 'n Roll all night," said Razo.

During his first stop at Culver's, Simmons stepped up to the counter to order a Reuben and some of their famous frozen custard.

Ashley started snapping candids like a paparazzi.  Culver's staffers were also getting in on the act.

"He stuck his arms out like this and said, come on over," Elder said.

No sighting, though, of that legendary tongue.

"He was here to get food," Razo said.  "We didn't want to bombard him.  But now thinking about it, we should have."

Barely a day later, it's back to business at Culver's.  But memories of the rocking counter encounter will linger.

"I grew up listening to KISS, and I actually have been to one of their concerts," Razo concluded.  "So to see Gene Simmons walk through, that was pretty cool."

In will, no doubt, keep the "Rock" in Rock Falls.