We’re not exactly sure when it happened (some say it’s been a month), and we’re not exactly sure why it happened (okay, we have a pretty good idea), but the Rocky Rococo in the Shops of Grand Avenue has closed. Milwaukee Record stumbled upon this sad story Wednesday night while trying to sneak into the NEWaukee Night Market “VIP Balcony.” The Night Market was nice, by the way.
Oh god, what’s the point anymore? With the closing of this beloved Rockys, Grand Ave. is all but dead. All that remains in the once-bustling third-floor food court is a Qdoba, a Panda Express, a Subway, and that Tomato place that sells wraps or whatever. Seriously, that’s it. Ugh.
Like everything in Milwaukee these days, the Shops of Grand Avenue aren’t really dying—they’re just changing. The mall’s Plankinton Arcade is being transformed into apartments (just imagine living in that former pen shop!), and the mall’s owners have been teasing a “food hall” for the first floor. The current food court will likely be converted to office space. These plans, it should be said, have been floating around forever. Oh, and that barber who ran for mayor moved in with those day spa ladies.
But that’s neither here nor there—let’s take a moment to pay tribute to the gone-but-not-forgotten Rocky Rococo. May it rest in peace/power/pepperoni. Please enjoy this album Rocky recorded himself in the ’90s, Kitchen Licks.