At the beginning of March, writers Bill Bruns and Kenny Turan were walking on Swarthmore when they noticed activity at 1061 Swarthmore Avenue, between Porta Via Palisades and Paige clothing store. A pizza restaurant had supposedly been in the works since 2021 and it appeared it was finally opening.
The co-owner of Roca Pizza, Rick Rosenfield, asked the two journalists, who have never been known to turn down free food, “Do you want to be our first customers?”
Though stuffed from lunch, Bruns and Turan polished off two pieces of barbecue chicken pizza and agreed, “This is really delicious!”
Customers could buy pizza by the slice, which ranged in price from $5.75 to $6.75, a half or full pizza, which ranged in price from $39 to $48, and served 8.
A ribbon cutting was held in April by the Palibu Chamber of Commerce.
Then came the summer doldrums in Pacific Palisades, when commercial streets are largely empty, and businesses seek customers.
In a September 5 Instagram post, owners Rick and Esther Rosenfeld wrote that the store would close.
“With great sadness, ROCA PIZZA is no longer operating at Palisades Village,” the owners said. “We loved serving this wonderful community and are grateful to our loyal customers and valued employees who displayed such passion to serve our guests the highest quality products. We will miss you.”
Prior to pizza, that was the site for SunLife Organics, which in addition to several southern California locations, such as Malibu West Hollywood and Century City, is also found in Austin, Bee Cave, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago.
A worker at the Swarthmore site was asked what was going in that location next, and the person thought it was going to be a place that served desserts.