By Lisa Morgan

There’s a new venue for live music in town and it has everything you and your family, even your four legged members, could want for an afternoon or evening of fun, food and fantastic classic rock. It continues to surprise me that even with a highly visible location, on Highway 111 across from The River in Rancho Mirage, many people could not tell you where Johnny Rocket’s is if you ask them. I suppose because the building has been there under different ownership and title and perhaps because as we drive by our attention is either drawn straight ahead or in the opposite direction toward the beautiful open air shopping mall.

I would like to offer you my personal invitation to visit an establishment that has quickly become one of my favorite places to eat for several reasons:

ICE CREAM, SHAKES, MALTS, FLOATS & DESSERT PASTRIES: Johnny Rocket’s serves some of the best ice cream shakes and malts in town. They start with the highest quality vanilla ice cream and end with REAL WHIP CREAM putting amazing combinations of flavor in between the two. Total satisfaction is served up in frosty, vintage mugs. I suggest that when you walk into Johnny Rockets, you don’t make eye contact with the dessert display to the right of the entry. You may be tempted to skip dinner altogether, and go straight for dessert! It is dangerously scrumptious in there.

THE BURGERS: Their burgers truly are some of the best I’ve ever tasted, especially the Smokehouse, with crispy onion rings and barbecue sauce, cheese and SMOKED BACON. It makes you think, “So this is what Carl’s Jr. was trying to get at…not even close!” All Johnny Rocket’s burgers are made from fresh, never frozen, 100% beef. You truly can taste the wonderful difference.

SALADS: Their salads rival any of the neighboring gourmet restaurants. My favorite is the incredibly fresh spinach salad served with their creamy raspberry vinaigrette.

VARIETY: The rest of their menu offers something for everyone! They have wonderful lean chicken breast sandwiches in many combinations, hot dogs and chicken tenders, not to mention their “Rocket Melts”. The quality of the food is absolutely above par.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Good Old Fashioned Customer Service is a rare treat. I’m not talking about “kind service”, “efficient service” or “at least my food wasn’t cold” service. When I recently went to Johnny Rockets, I sat down with a friend and did not let anyone know I was with the paper. Brian (a natural born people person) greeted us warmly, took our drink orders and returned with a little sampler of hot french fries and served them with a side of smile! That’s right! He had a small bowl in which he made a happy face with the ketchup. I know it may sound silly, but it felt kind of special. You couldn’t help but appreciate the extra effort in presentation. It seems that Johnny Rocket’s has made a point to hire staff members who genuinely like people. I know! It’s a fantastic concept, and it really works for me.

DISCOUNT MOVIE TICKETS: With the purchase of a meal and beverage at Johnny Rockets, you can purchase discounted tickets to see a movie of your choice across the street at the Century at the River movie theater. $7.50 for any movie is a fantastic deal anywhere!

THE PATIO: With high-functioning misters on the shady side of the covered patio, you can enjoy temperate conditions while you dine in the fresh air. The patio is also pet friendly as it has its own entrance. Live music will also be available on the patio (weather permitting) every Thursday and Sunday evening from 6 pm-9 pm. It truly feels like you’re on vacation as you listen to classic and soft rock songs that we all know and love.

BEER & WINE & SPORTS & PIN BALL: That’s right! Johnny Rockets has 20 Premium Beers on tap and selections of red and white wine for the adult diner. They also have 60″ plasma televisions so you can catch your favorite sporting events. Meanwhile, the kids can challenge themselves to a classic game of pinball.

$2 BEER: With purchase of a meal, you can enjoy $2 draft beer any time. (Not valid with any other promotions)

$5 OFF any purchase of $25 or more. For a limited time, with the coupon located in CV Weekly, you can get $5 taken off the bill with any food and beverage purchase. (Not to be combined with $2 beer promotion)

ENTERTAINMENT: For the month of May, two of the Coachella Valley’s favorite classic rock bands will be playing your favorites on the misted patio every Thursday and Sunday night, from 6 pm- 9 pm. You’ll enjoy the talented musicians as much for the great music they provide, as you will the friendly atmosphere they bring with them.

Thursday Nights: O.G.R. Band is your entertainment host (that stands for Old Guys Rock). It’s true! They are not afraid to be called “Old Guys” because these Old Guys really do ROCK. With classic favorites from REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger and the like, who better than to honor these oldies but forever goodies than the ones inspired to become musicians by the very music they play.

Sunday Nights: MELTDOWN is known for their stellar vocal harmonies, and seasoned musicianship. They bring you the best of the 60’s and 70’s, including songs from Crosby Stills and Nash, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Byrds, America, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and more. Larry and Cat Pedersen, along with brother Mike Pedersen will sooth your heart and mind with heartfelt renditions of songs that were written to awaken the soul and heal the world. If they can’t lift your spirits on a Sunday night, try adding a milk shake.

We all hope to see you and yours at Johnny Rocket’s, the truly family friendly restaurant (even for your four legged members). Come Enjoy the food, the friendship and music. Johnny Rockets is located at 71855 HWY 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270, across from The River. Call them at (760) 674-3120 or check them out online at