Roca Pizza on Swarthmore Now Closed

Roca Pizza was in the space next to Porto Via.

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.

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4 Responses to Roca Pizza on Swarthmore Now Closed

  1. Michael says:

    Those were the tiniest slices of pizza I’ve ever seen. I walked in and immediately walked out. The Rosnfelds were taking Palisadians for fools. Amazing that the guy who started California Pizza Kitchen only lasted six months.

  2. Joan Golden Mandell says:

    Really disappointed about Roca closing. Still not really understanding why or whether they will reopen somewhere on the west side.

  3. Lifelong Palisadian says:

    This was doomed from the beginning. Not enough foot traffic in this mall, and not enough hipsters around to by super-expensive bougie pizza. Caruso still can’t “read the room” in the Palisades, after almost five years. And the carnage continues.

  4. Village Resident says:

    Perhaps learning that the Palisades isn’t supported by the uber-wealth that the Caruso mall and surrounding homes tend to telegraph it is shows how this happened. Six months and they are closing! When will these people ever learn? The Palisades is not what they are trying to promote. It’s an established and family oriented community and not enough people are going to buy a $50 pizza and get ripped off for the pleasure of eating something a kin to California Pizza Kitchen when all through town there is “excellent pizza”. Right across the street is Cinque Terra. Playing the community at large for fools has yet to sink in on Swarthmore apparently, so the beat goes on, five years and counting.

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