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Restaurants & Bars 3

Two semi-notable restaurant closings

Old School | Aug 2, 200302:59 PM

I just ventured down Ogden Ave., returning home from Bari Foods with an especially great prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich--only to discover that La Roc's (at the corner of Grand and Ogden) is completely shuttered, even to the point that their corner pole sign has been removed. No further identifying marks, except for the little drive-in looking structure itself. I never thought their specialty, the chili, was very much better than Hormel, but it was always an interesting way-station when traveling to and fro on Ogden.

Continuing my drive heading northeast, I passed Bone Daddy--and it, too, was completely closed up. I called their number from the car, just to make sure I hadn't mistaken the papered-over windows for some weekend remodeling project. But sure enough, the phone message simply said they regretted to say they're closed and appreciated the past patronage. Period.

I have mixed feelings about this one. The owners clearly wanted to provide a version of barbeque authenticity, and succeeded to a certain degree. Their sauces were pretty good, and though their ribs were not my particular dish of tea, I always appreciated the attempt. It was never a place I loved, though I had probably been there a half-dozen times during its run.

What may have killed them: 1) the service absolutely sucked every time I was there. I'm talking aggressively bad, totally amateurish, with not just little things being off, but major league gaffes on every visit; 2) the restaurant--while not unattractive--was quirky in a bad way. It had one gigantic cement floor dining room that just didn't ever look or feel quite right; 3) the location, though hardly in the middle of nowhere, wasn't great.

I did like the idea of their bar having about 30 different brews on tap. The problem, it seemed, was that with such a modestly frequented place, there was never enough "turn" on any of the beer, so much of it tasted like it had been sitting too long--especially the lower-volume specialty stuff.

Can't say I'm sorry to report either of these, but they still feel like a bit of a loss.

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