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Rocca has closed

twentyoystahs Jan 4, 2011 04:48 PM

Man, I'm out of the loop. I didn't know anything about this, and haven't seen any mention on Chowhound. It doesn't totally surprise me, though there are other spots I would have been less surprised about.
I had heard the new chef's cooking was great and was hoping to try it. Oh well. Will have to see where she goes next. In this link she mentions it came as a shot to everyone (except of course for Larson, who closed it.)


  1. MC Slim JB Jan 4, 2011 05:06 PM

    I rarely have the scoop on stories like this, but I think I actually was the first to break this news publicly, right here on Chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756715 It was met with a lot of skepticism, took a few hours before people believed me. I actually first heard on New Year's Eve, but waited till early the next morning for some additional confirmation before going public with it.

    I also did a blog bit breaking down why I thought Rocca failed despite all the things it had going for it.


    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB
      StriperGuy Jan 5, 2011 06:12 AM

      Rocca just never really fired on all eight cylinders...

      1. re: StriperGuy
        gutterman Jan 5, 2011 06:28 AM

        I only went to Rocca once. This was in the first year. I don't remember what we ate. I do remember that when we ordered drinks, the bartender opened a little can of pineapple juice. In the world of the $12 custom made, fresh juice cocktail, this just didn't measure up.
        I knew, right then and there, I wouldn't be back.


    2. p
      pollystyrene Jan 8, 2011 01:58 AM

      Was at Gaslight last night, and the waitress told us it had closed because they were caught serving a minor, and had their liquor license revoked for 7-10 days. Apparently, word got out, and they couldn't sustain the losses for that long.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pollystyrene
        Msample Jan 8, 2011 05:53 AM

        A week to ten days of no liquor license would certainly be a blow, but I find it hard to believe it was enough to make them close down entirely unless they were already so close to the edge that it was the final straw.

        1. re: Msample
          StriperGuy Jan 8, 2011 06:47 AM

          That has to be the case...

        2. re: pollystyrene
          MC Slim JB Jan 8, 2011 09:14 AM

          Pretty sure that liquor-license story is apocryphal. The bottom line is that they were struggling, not doing enough covers Sunday to Wednesday, and reportedly hadn't paid their rent in six months. The investor well went dry, and the landlord finally decided that renewing the lease wasn't a good idea. Once that happened, it was over.


          1. re: MC Slim JB
            postemotional1 Jan 9, 2011 02:52 PM

            Yes, MC we agree on something!

            Local scuttlebutt is very consistent on this one.

            The story I heard over the bar from a guest is identical.

            Unpaid rent, a cash call to minority investors and a lease not to be renewed.

            In this instance the grapevine seems very plausible.

        3. ChefJune Jan 11, 2011 11:55 AM

          Wow, twenty! I'm further out of the loop than you! I haven't been on the board for a while and am just seeing this now... Though I should have wondered when I didn't get an email about a Top Chef party last Wednesday.

          Really sad. but cannot imagine that all the principals will not land on their feet. They're real pros.

          This will make me root harder for Tiffani to win Top Chef. Her food is top drawer.

          1. EvergreenDan Jan 13, 2011 11:05 AM

            I ate there once. Once. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life.

            Brunch. Interminable wait for food, despite being almost the only customers. Uncooked egg white. Semi-raw pasta (borderline crunchy). Appalled. Wrote constructive e-mail. No reply.

            My take: when the Exec Chef and owners weren't there, no one cared.

            1. Disneyfreak Jan 13, 2011 11:09 AM

              Wow! I went there once with a coworker for dinner while on a business trip. We had a really nice meal -- seated outside. I mentioned being a Tiffany fan to our server and Tiffany came out to meet me. She was lovely.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Disneyfreak
                cambridgedoctpr Jan 13, 2011 12:10 PM

                where is tiffani going? will she stay in boston?

                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                  MC Slim JB Jan 13, 2011 12:19 PM

                  All her public proclamations are that she loves Boston and wants to stay here. That said, she's got a pretty marketable name thanks to Top Chef and got good reviews at Rocca, so don't be terribly surprised if she gets lured elsewhere.


              2. d
                djeddieo.com Jan 21, 2011 04:27 AM

                I loved Rocca and will miss it. We just don't dine in town very often since moving out of the South End 11 years ago. All our favorite spots that we used to walk to have become more upscale places or banks. I loved having a South End restaurant with parking, and have always found Gaslight too loud. I always had great meals and drinks (the Vespa Martini was the only house cocktail I've ever enjoyed anywhere) both before and after Tiffani's arrival. Loved the former manager Rita and always felt Michaela's welcoming charm. I'm hearing rumors of a new place opening at this location....anyone know more??

                1 Reply
                1. re: djeddieo.com
                  MC Slim JB Jan 21, 2011 05:08 AM

                  Agreed: Rocca's service was never better than when Rita D'Angelo was at the hostess stand. I was glad when she turned up there, really felt her absence when she left.

                  I'd love to hear about something going into the Rocca space, but no rumor to that effect has crossed my desk yet. I don't love the dining room upstairs, but the bar is a cool space, and the patio might be the nicest in the South End. It's not a small restaurant; someone will have to have an ambitious project in mind to take it over.


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