whenever someone who owns a restaurant says they don't know where the money is going they are either siphoning it off or someone else is. Get a different accountant, preferably one that knows forensic accountants and find out where the money is going.
The bar is closed, too?
Damn, I was literally going to walk up there 20 minutes from now.
@Michelle - yep.
I've never once eaten there. They just gave off a vibe of grease and mediocrity.
The pizza was kind of terrible, but I loved that place. It was an alright place for cheap lunch in a reasonably good location. I'll miss those huge greasy slices of cheese and pork.
Aw. I was sitting there in May 2001 reading the Mercury when I decided to finally quit my corporate day job and take a position here. But yeah, the pizza was not that good.
Loved it. Was so great when I was a suburban teen to go to Powell's and then head to Rocco's. Also great after shows at the Paris or Roseland.

Sigh, the times they are a-changing.
so many teenage memories here, coincidentally the last time i thought the pizza was good too. All the same, another landmark bites the dust.
I liked the pizza there. It was yummy and yes Sarah, it was an awesome place to watch people...This totally depresses me...RIP ROCCO's
It was possibly the worst pizza ever, and I'm no pizza elitist--I'll take Tostinos. That said, I very recently discovered their bar half and really liked it. I wish they'd keep that operation going. Beer is harder to fuck up than pizza and the profit margin must be a lot higher.
But who gets the framed Star Trek poster?
They should do a podcast.
I mean... I guess I feel nostalgic about this, but if I really cared about their restaurant I would've spent money there sometime in the last decade. The bar was pretty decent, though.
Went in there just the other day--odd, since I hadn't been in years. I was looking for something dirt cheap to eat, but I ended up paying $4.50 for a single slice of pizza. ONE slice.

It was decidedly not worth it.
Ah man, I too am going to miss this place. I ate there a lot in the mid 90's when I first came to Portland. A few years after that I'd constantly be holed up there with a C++ programming book while finishing up school at PSU. Even at my last job downtown I'd still go there and think about how different life is now from back then.

One of the last times I was there was with my wife. Since we were downtown, I really wanted to have date night dinner at Rocco's of all places. We cut a deal, we could have dinner at Rocco's but then I had to buy her dessert and drinks at Le Pigeon. It was a fun night.

I'm dating myself, but I miss Cafe Coexistence (the previous tenant in that spot). Their pizza did not suck.
I actually liked their slices. I pretty much only got cheese ones. But... once I dumped a bunch of parm and peppers on them, I thought they were tasty! Like, they had a lot of sauce on them, and I liked that.

Portland just lost three pinball machines! :(
Greasy, thick deep-dish and spaced-out punks. Barq's in the soda machine, and no dips in cashmere sweaters. I'll miss you Rocco's, and your bar was so so comfy.
Oh NOOOOO! I have so many fond memories of this place. Went there on many a late-night college date. Cheap beer! Great drunk pizza! Best pinball! Although, I have to say, I'm a sucker for a surly waitstaff and a mildly dirty floor. So other people might not have loved it like I did, but damn, what a shame that they're closing. I love a night of Powells and Rocco's.
Can't say I liked the pizza but it was such a constant downtown landmark, where ongoing gentrification is ruining everything. I suppose it will become a "boutique" something-or-other. Meh.
@Alison Hallett: my sentiments exactly. I was about to reply "NOOOOOOO!!!" to the post, but then realized that I haven't eaten there in at least three years.
@ROM Luckily, pinball in this town is quite the hydra. Cut off one and three more show up elsewhere in the city.
In a town with an overabundance of food carts and pizza joints it's kinda amazing this place held out as long as it did.
I'm going to miss the girl that worked there in about 2002: Short dark hair, purple and white argyle sweater. We danced together at a Frank Black and the Catholics concert, but I was too shy to get her name. She told me she worked at Rocco's.
I had a slice there about 8 years ago and felt like crap for 12 hours. I haven't been back since, but I did think about looking in the window once when I was walking by. Then I was like, nah.
in these troubled economic times, when the worst pizza place in downtown portland closes, what's next? the mediocre and over-priced thai cart? "edible complex"?
That's too bad, I really liked Roccos. Pizza wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible, and the slices were huge. Really liked the bar too.
It really was the worst pizza ever. I hadn't been there in years. Recently I was in town with some time to kill so I paid roccos a visit. The pizza was served cold and the crust was rock hard. Just like I remembered! The pizza was always gross, but for some reason I really liked the place.
Alright, now all of you have gotten me all nostalgic and remembering back when I was pushing smut on 15th and Burnside in the late 90's, Rocco's was all I ate for several months! I would buy two slices at a time and not need to restock for the next 48 hours. Not healthy but budget friendly. Oddly engough like ned and humanclock, I recently went in there for the first time in a few years and thought about the deviant I was (and still am), back then. All I remember from those days is being stoned and paranoid- always looking over my shoulder expecting crackhead(s) to beat my shit up because I wouldn't let him sell his dick or pimp to my customers anymore. Remember when Burnside was an obvious hopspot for prostitution???
I have never eaten at Rocco's. Not one time.
The worst pizza in town.

HOWEVER, this wasn't always the case! Before the fire, the pizza there was pretty OK. Totally hit and miss, depending on who was working, making the pizza, but it wasn't as bad then as it was, say, last week.

When I first came to Portland in 1993 (fuck, I'm old) their gigantor slice of cheese pizza would fill my financially strapped stomach for pretty much a whole day.

There was a fire some time in the '90s and the quality went away... When they were remodeling after the fire, they sold slices out of the doorway from time to time. The place had a lot of character, thinking back now on the mural of the owner poking his head through the roof of a Hummer.

After getting a job close by, I stopped frequenting the place, as the fat was a bit much and the price went from $1.50/Slice to much higher, the quality going downward as the price inched up.

Too bad, though, about the place closing. Rocco's had its charms.
I really liked their pizza.


Another empty storefront is NOT a good thing.
That Rocco's has survived that long in spite of being a Portland legend for having really bad pizza would indicate that the location is excellent.
Rocco's was a fuckin' legend. I spent many a happy hour there sitting outside smoking and meeting random weird people who wandered by. Met a couple of really good friends there. In the vast majority of the year sprinkled with rain I'd sit inside and stare out the 3 big wall windows. Only place downtown where I could buy a cheap book across the street, buy a $3 slice of pizza that would more than fill me up and a $1.50 PBR, and watch my town go buy for an hour with good music blasting in my ears and mildly grumpy pizza clerks begrudgingly reheating my mediocre (actually, I thought it was pretty decent) pizza.

I think it started going downhill a couple years ago when they opened the bar and tried to trying to make the place classier by kicking out the street kids that were always hanging out. Roccos was not a classy place. It wasn't supposed to be. It was a grungy downtown hangout, and will be missed as such by those who truly appreciated it...............
Oh well. pizza was pretty aweful... I can't wait to see what kind of bland corporate boutique or bistro is sure to replace it.
Can the City find a way to preserve the Pabst Blue Ribbon/Vegan Pizza window as an important symbol of Millennial Portland?
What a great spot for a coffee franchise.

Sure, the pizza wasn't winning any blue ribbons, but now I'm back to spending 30+ bucks for cold pies delivered from
lonesome's. So, Rocco's will definitely be missed at my house.
Finally found this thing I made last year with a pic of the Rocco's window:…
Sad to see more of the old punk/goth/indie Portland disappear. I mean, they had terrible pizza, but the nostalgia factor is through the roof with that place. No doubt it'll be turned into more gentrified Portland crap as the Pearl inches south.
Well played Todd, well played. I would have eaten there if they'd actually had vegan pizza by the slice. Any pizzeria can make an entire pizza without cheese. The sign was false advertising.
I used to eat there 1-2 times a week when I worked an Ad Agency gig in the Pearl-- I knew my detestable yuppie coworkers would never set foot in the joint, so it was a safe lunch option. Also-- a slice and a beer for under $5? Amazing. Yeah, the pizza sucked and gave me horrible gas, but it was a great place to kill a couple hours reading the newspaper while they played the same pop-punk mix CD for the billionth time.

I'm sure the food cart explosion put some pressure on their sales. Gotta wonder if the bar venture next door was the final nail in the coffin-- the one time I stopped in, it was totally devoid of personality.

Nevertheless, it was a great place to people-watch and a rad holdout against the chain shit spreading in from the other side of Burnside. (I'm sure the building will house a GAP wannabe before long-- who else could afford the rent?) It was a staple of my early days working downtown, people watching and stinking up my cublicle with rotten garlic farts. Gonna miss it.
Rocco's was all about location. There is hardly a better place to people watch in all the city. It's going to be fun hearing all of the old stories from before the renovation of that intersection. I worked at Reading Frenzy for a year in the late 90's, but gave up on their pizza after about a month. Government cheese with a thousand pound crust. Still, I would always stop in at least once a year for a beer and the ambiance, which was pretty good for where it was. It was a late hold out for "15 years-ago" Portland, before rents got nutty, and I still wanted to spend an afternoon downtown. Warts and all.. RIP.
I worked there for a couple of years right before they opened the bar next door. It was one of the best jobs ever...except the part when the owner stole money from us the whole time by skimming our paychecks. "They didn't know where the money was going."?!?! Ha! I have many fond memories of kicking out drunk assholes and rocking out to metal. I didn't really like metal before but I learned to love it working there. It's a pizza place thing. I became such a Maiden convert that when I was interviewing someone for a counter position one of my questions was "do you like Iron Maiden?" They didn't have to say yes but they weren't gonna get the job if they said no. That's just how it was at Rocco's. METAL!
The billions of food carts that have taken over downtown definitely offer tastier grub when you're eating lunch on the cheap, but the gritty ambiance at Rocco's was awesome. I guess there aren't too many grungy alternative punk rockers that appreciate bad pizza and Pabst hanging out in the Pearl these days. Hope they put in something cool to take it's place- it's a killer location.
Good riddance to bad wingnuts - their owners are crazy Mel Gibson-esque Catholic wingnuts.
I am super sad that Rocco's has closed. I loved their vegan pizza the compost heap. It was piled high with delicious veggies and was covered in delicious sauce. In my opinion the best vegan pizza in all of Portland is now lost. Weepweepweep.

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