It’s no longer the Kerry Hills, but the new place won’t disappoint. After all, you can still get your beer, wine and even specialty cocktails, but even better, some quality, fresh Italian food. Rocco’s of Roc Beach, a coal brick oven pizza bar on Rockaway Beach Boulevard is gearing up to open soon.
The site of the old Kerry Hills Pub, located at 115-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, has gotten a floor-to-ceiling makeover, as the new owners make way for coal brick pizza oven pizza and Italian restaurant with a five-star chef from Italy.
Rocco’s story begins 75 years ago with Peter Rocco Facinelli, an Italian Immigrant and lifelong restauranteur, who ran some of New York’s most iconic restaurants after coming to America in 1958. His legacy continues. Rocco’s Of Roc Beach is a family operated restaurant managed by co-owners Vincent P. and Rocco’s grandson Louis, along with Pizzaiola, Salvatore and Executive Five Star Chef Bruno from Italy.
The owners purchased the building at the end of 2019. They built out the entire restaurant, from floor to ceiling with a chic, modern look that pays homage to the bare bones of the building with the original exposed brick. They put up televisions on almost every wall to appeal to the sports lovers or to play classic movies for their planned theme nights. They cleaned up the backyard space to make it a prime spot for outdoor dining. And the star of the show—they built a brick coal oven on premises to dish up some high-quality pizza. The owners anticipated opening around September 2020 however, due to Covid and running into red tape and delays with the city, the opening was pushed back. Now Rocco’s is just one inspection away from being given the green light to open its doors. The owners anticipate opening sometime in the next few weeks.
The owners say once open, Rocco’s will be a place for everyone. After all their slogan is “Welcome to the family.” The new spot will have a family-friendly atmosphere that is made for folks coming off the beach in flip flops and shorts to grab a meal, or those looking to get a little more dressed up for a night on the town. “We want it to be casual, but at the same time, when you come here, you feel something, you feel the energy of the place, but the food..the food is going to be off the charts. When people come here and taste the food, they’re gonna be hooked,” Louis said.
The menu is still in the works, but one thing is for sure—the food at Rocco’s will be fresh. Everything from the bread to even the pasta, will be made fresh on the premises. “What we do, everything is top shelf, we use all of the best ingredients. But it’ll be affordable,” Louis said.
Before even opening, the owners are ready to dish up perks. They’re asking people to sign up for their mailing list to get the latest information on the restaurant. In exchange, everyone who signs up will get a customer loyalty rewards card that they can use to build up points with each purchase to receive discounts and deals in the future.
To sign up for the mailing list, head to RoccosCoalOvenPizza.com. For more updates on Rocco’s, make sure to follow them on Facebook at Roccos of Roc Beach or RoccosOfRocBeach on Instagram.
By Katie McFadden
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