Philadelphians feeling a cheesesteak-shaped emptiness inside upon seeing Rocco’s on Castor Avenue closed for business can breathe easy.
Although the sausage and cheesesteak shop in front of the Port Richmond Home Depot appears to be shut down, the stoppage is only temporary, the owner told Billy Penn. Instead, it’s getting an upgrade.
In the 15 years since Rocco’s Italian Sausages and Philly Cheese Steaks debuted, its underground fame has steadily grown. The unassuming shack has been called essential, landed on “best of” lists and deemed a “hidden gem” by cheesesteak purists, adventurous eaters and construction contractors alike.
After a reader reached out to lament the closure of their favorite sandwich spot, Billy Penn chatted with proprietor Daniel Winter.
Owner of the Rocco’s outposts on Castor Avenue, Columbus Boulevard and Roosevelt Boulevard, Winter has poured his life into his small chain, but also has resisted the temptation to expand too fast. This time, however, he’s ready to make changes.
“Renovations,” Winter explained. “Almost done.” The spot is getting an “upgrade,” he said, pegging the relaunch date as some time this spring.
What’s changing? In addition to changes to the kitchen area that’ll allow for better service, Winter is working on adding an area with enclosed seating next to the picnic tables out front. He also plans to add even more outdoor seating now that the weather is getting nicer.
Winter also teased “something big” coming soon in partnership with Home Depot. Stay tuned.