General manager Tavo Mendez operates the Oviedo Rock & Brews restaurant like a mom-and-pop eatery, giving back to the local community in any way he can.
“I literally helped to dig trenches when this restaurant was being built,” Tavo says. “We’re part of a really small franchise out of Tampa, and I’ve been with the company since the start. This restaurant and the neighbors we serve here mean a lot to me.”
Tavo spreads the word about Rock & Brews the old-fashioned way, interacting with the community through local schools, nonprofit organizations, and sports programs as evidenced by the scores of photos inside Rock & Brews featuring smiling sports teams.
“About 80 percent of our advertising budget goes to little leagues, schools, and nonprofits,” Tavo says. “I love supporting our community.”
The restaurant partners with various local high schools including Hagerty, Oviedo, and Lake Howell.
“We feed the Oviedo football team two or three times during the season – there are about 100 of them, and they are big boys,” Tavo laughs. “It’s a lot of food, but we’re happy to do it because it stays in my community.”
Rock & Brews also feeds Oviedo High’s wrestling team and supports the dance team, and OHS families frequent the eatery as a result.
“They are great about reciprocating,” Tavo says. “From baseball and wrestling to the dance team, they’re in here all the time.”
Rock & Brews also sponsors spirit nights for a number of schools in the Oviedo area including Indian Trails Middle, Jackson Heights Middle, Rainbow Elementary, and Eastbrook Elementary – plus Crooms Academy in Sanford because, as Tavo points out, a lot of Oviedo students attend Crooms.
The restaurant supports the Oviedo Business Alliance, the Optimist Club, and the Winter Springs Business Alliance. Rock & Brews is also a proud supporter of the Oviedo Police Foundation, where it partners with local radio station 103.1 the WOLF to participate in BBQ 4 The Blue. The event gives the community a chance to thank local police officers and first responders by hosting a barbecue picnic in their honor.
This past September, Rock & Brews hosted the 15th annual Muscle Car Show for Oviedo’s HOPE Helps, Inc. Fans of muscle cars came to see souped-up American hot-rods while enjoying food and drinks and supporting a great local cause.
“We’re a community-driven restaurant – it’s what we do,” says Tavo. “Every event with the community, I’m out there. I absolutely love it.”