Cotter Chronicle

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Rocco’s rolls to new location

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Rocco’s rolls to new location

Chuck Miller, Winona Daily News

Chuck Miller, Winona Daily News

Chuck Miller, Winona Daily News

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Rocco’s Pizza and Pub has been a very well known and popular pizza place to not only locals, but people travelling from other places. People come from all over to try their famous cheese and pepperoni pizza.

This past fall, Rocco’s learned they would be moving to a new location on 5th street. It was the same building that Little Caesars once had. Because of the move they are now shutting the Athletic Center (Rocco’s Pub) down. This move is bittersweet for people in the community, because they have been there for so long and it has become a place they know and love, but they are excited for Rocco’s and it’s move.

The last day of the Athletic Center Rocco’s was November 26. This ended a partnership that started in 1982.

Owner, Bob Barth, said that in the long run it would cheaper to switch to a newer location rather than to be constantly paying for repairs. In order to save money he found a new site. In the move, nobody will be losing their jobs, and they will even add a few more positions. This move was thought over for a long time, and they are hoping for a good outcome, while leaving great memories behind and looking to make some more.

Barth and his wife are very excited that the new location is finally opened, because they have been working on opening it since February. They were hoping to open in May, but the process took longer than expected.

Ever wonder how and why the Cotter grounds look so nice all the time? Well…Cotter, has a staff member you might recognize, the one and only Todd Bell. He works as the Assistant Director of Buildings and Facilities. He maintains the Cotter grounds including all of Cotter Fields. He also helps out in maintaining proper heating and cooling for all buildings. He helps out the Cotter family and the Rocco’s family.

Todd has been employed at Cotter for 13 years, and last May, would mark his 25th year working at Rocco’s.

When asked if it is hard to juggle two jobs at the same time,

“You bet it is!”.

Todd has a wife and daughter that he really loves spending time with, so he is constantly running back and forth from work to her sporting events, but he loves both of his jobs.

While at Rocco’s, Todd has done every job you can think of. Currently, he is in charge of watching the oven and taking orders, but everyone helps each other to get the job done. When thinking back, Todd remembers most a call back from a customer that had ordered six large pizzas to the Winona Yacht Club. They said that they would need to remake the entire order, because the delivery guy fell in the water with their order.

“We still laugh about it every time someone brings it up,” Todd said.

Todd plans on making the move with Rocco’s. He thought about hanging it up after the move, so that he could spend more time with his family. He eventually decided to give the new place a shot, and he really enjoys it.

“I think I would miss hanging out with the other employees that I have worked with for so long,” Todd said.

We asked a couple of students what they thought about the move, and they had a few nice things to say:

Avid pizza connoisseur, Ella Reilly said, “I’m glad that they finally moved into the middle of town. It makes ordering and picking up a lot easier for the people who live in between the two old locations. I am very excited that I can now take a walk to go get a pizza, if I really wanted to.”

“I really enjoy Rocco’s pizza and am glad they found a new location that works for everybody, and hopefully the new location will stay up and running for many years to come, since it is such a popular Winona restaurant,” Ian Modjeski said.

Many people in the Cotter community are excited about this move. It is considerably more convenient for the dorm students, because it is within walking distance, and it supports are local restaurants.

Todd says, “Rocco’s has been an amazing place to work and the pizza is awesome! I don’t know how long I will stay, but I am glad I have been a part of it for so long!”

If you’re ever hangry and looking for a pizza, check out the new Rocco’s space at, 477 West Third St.

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Rocco’s rolls to new location