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Plan To Open Another Rock & Brews Causes Brouhaha In Torrance

TORRANCE ( — A plan to open a Rock 'n Roll beer garden in the South Bay is hitting a low note with nearby residents.

El Segundo's Rock & Brews wants to open its first franchised location in Torrance, where Oliver's Cafe currently stands at Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verdes Boulevard.

Kiss band member Gene Simons is one of the owners of the open-air beer garden, known for a large selection of brews and for playing loud rock music.

"Even though you may not be born a rock star we're going to make you feel like one," Simmons said at L.A. LIVE's Rocktoberfest Monday night.

Torrance residents say they're afraid that the business will bring "Crazy, Crazy Nights" to the Hollywood Riviera area. Several people have written to the Torrance Planning Commission to reject the restaurant's plans.

"The noise level, the lights and the general activity of a bar is not conducive with what you see here," said Rosemary Claire, who lives across the street from the planned location.

"It is about 130 feet from our property and, as you see, our living areas front right on what will be the exposure," Claire said.

Claire said she's not trying to stop the project but she just wants officials to hear her concerns.

"Anything that will have a negative impact on our property, on our safety, on the quality of our life is a concern," she said.

Restaurateur Michael Zislis, who is one of the owners of the El Segundo location, said Rock & Brews is not a bar: they're not open past midnight and there is no live music.

"Nothing loud here. No live music, nothing like that. It's just great food, 52 beers -- one for every day of the week -- and bring your family and kids down," Zislis said.

City staff have already recommended the project's approval.

The Planning Commission will consider the project's application at a meeting Wednesday at City Hall, 3031 Torrance Blvd. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

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