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SOLD – Rocco’s Legacy Continues

By in Northern California

Rocco’s Cafe
San Francisco

Andy Mirabell of Restaurant Realty Company is proud to announce the sale of the Rocco’s Cafe, one of the longest standing restaurant concepts in San Francisco.


Rocco’s is one of the longest standing restaurant concepts in San Francisco. With over 90 years of operations in SF, it has become an Italian comfort food staple for The City. Rocco’s had spent nearly 60 years in the famed Mission District of San Francisco before Chef Don Dial, took over and reopened it South of Market at 1131 Folsom Street, nearly 30 years ago. Since his move Rocco’s has gained local and national attention and has been featured on cooking shows, such as Diners, Dives & Drive-Ins. Sales were above $1.7 Million at their peak in this 2300sf SOMA location.

Since 2020, Chef Don has stayed the course and continued to serve his neighborhood locals and city residents alike with more limited hours. With his goal to sell the business and retire from the taxing job of owning and operating a full-service restaurant, he chose to list Rocco’s with Restaurant Realty, and specifically with Agent, Andy Mirabell in 2023. Don closed dinner shifts for Rocco’s in July 2023 and focused on breakfast, lunch and brunch which have historically been popular. In the Fall of 2023 Andy located a very qualified team who wanted to carry on and expand the legacy of Rocco’s.

Scott Beck, Mitch Penning and Michael Rotella jumped at this opportunity to buy Rocco’s. Scott and Mitch own the multi-unit Incline Burgers in the Tahoe area and the Biggest Little Steakhouse located in Reno. They teamed up with Michael Rotella who is a vastly experienced operator who has previously worked for the Hillstone Restaurant Group. Michael lives in San Francisco and is closely tied to the Hospitality Industry and as well as SF’s vibrant LBTGQ community. Michael was the brainchild behind targeting Rocco’s as a bright spot in the otherwise strained San Francisco restaurant industry. With the breaking news that SF’s most iconic Queer Bar, that opened in 1966, but closed during the Pandemic, would be reopening on the very block Rocco’s resides. He knew life was coming back to this block and to SF!

The new owners will open softly on January 10th and then expand hours from there, likely to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that may include late night dining.

This iconic brand and legacy attracted the right new owners to nurture and grow Rocco’s legacy for decades to come.

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