Portland Mercury's Sarah Mirk reports this afternoon that Rocco's Pizza, the cheap, by-the-slice joint across the street from Powell's, has closed after 18 years in business. (The adjacent Rocco's Bar, opened last year, has also shuttered.)
Early eulogies of the spot note that its draw wasn't for high quality pizza, but for the people-watching opportunities on the busy Burnside corner (its outdoor tables seemed particularly littered with chain-smoking teenagers from the 'burbs... not like there's anything wrong with that). Rocco's isn't the only longtime, iconic tenant in the Burnside corner building to leave of late: Last year, the Half & Half coffeeshop closed up shop after 10 years in business.
As Mirk notes, Rocco's shutter will undoubtedly bring feelings of nostalgia to the surface: "18 [years old] is like 100 in Portland years."
UPDATE: Rocco's has released a statement: "Rocco’s Pizza would like to thank the public for the generous patronage and support that has afforded the opportunity for Rocco’s to become not only a graciously respected brand in Portland for many years, but also a landmark. While we have given great effort and countless hours in an attempt to keep our doors from closing, the challenging financial times we are all experiencing along with unforeseeable family challenges, have made it impossible to do otherwise. We again thank the Portland metropolitan community and the City of Portland for allowing us to serve them for such a generous period of time."
· Rocco's Pizza Closes After 18 Years [Blogtown]
Image of Rocco's Pizza courtesy Rowena D. via Yelp