Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Say it ain't so Raleigh.....

Tuesday night I got the news... It's funny how the closing of a small upstairs restaurant can have such an effect on so many, but damn... it did. The Rockford was the scene for many of my most cherished memories over the past 15 years and it's hard to believe that it's really gone. It's the little things in life that truly make a difference and the Rockford was full of those. Whether it was the bartender who went out of her way to make a drink "right" for the pain-in-the-ass customer, the waitress who was seemingly always in a bad mood but yet somehow profoundly human, the "specials" menu dedicated to keeping music lovers entertained, or just the simple comfort of a meatloaf sandwich... The Rockford always just seemed right somehow and made me feel at home. I think an anonymous letter taped to the door sums it up best...

"Thanks for the good times, food, drinks, and friendship..."

Through the years we've lost our share of great places; the original Humble Pie, Vin & The Sting Ray to name a few. Hopefully the reopening of Kings will help bring us back to where we need to be. As things stand now though, Raleigh just got a lot less cool.


  1. well put...i worked at rockford for 8 years and am sad to see it go. what a lot of people don't realize is what a profound effect this restaurant and its owner, michael d'amelio, has had on raleigh's independent music, arts and business culture...so many folks were able to keep up their artwork, put themselves through school, start businesses and have jobs when they were home from band tours - and that's just the employees. it was often a real salon-style meeting place as well. by the time it closed the climate of the neighborhood was so undesirable
    no doubt it will be fondly remembered in so many ways.
    now what i want to know is what can we do to keep Raleigh's other eclectic, interesting and comfortably livable downtown neighborhoods from becoming another glenwood south. i don't want to see another solas on person street.

  2. My heart bleeds for Rockford to come back... I ate lunch there the day before the unexpected closing, and my friend and I raved together about how it was one of Raleigh's finest for as long as we've lived here (over a decade).

    So glad to have witnessed so much love for Rockford outpouring in the last 48 hours.