Rocky’s Togo, a takeout place that succeeded Rocky’s Pub, a North Little Rock restaurant with something of a cult following attributable largely to its Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, appears poised to open a full sit-down restaurant at the former Jo Jos Bar-B-Q in Sherwood.
That’s according to Joel Dunlap, who owns Rocky’s Togo with partner Megan Duncan. Duncan’s family, who came to Arkansas from Philadelphia, founded the original Rocky’s Pub, located in the Indian Hills Shopping Center. It closed in 2013, when Dunlap’s parents decided to retire. Dunlap told Whispers that he didn’t have the money to buy out his parents at that time.
Dunlap started Rocky’s Togo, a catering company operating out of the Arkitchen Commercial Kitchen at 9813 W. Markham in Little Rock, about a year ago. It offers a limited menu of sandwiches, including the Philly.
But now, Dunlap said, he’s saved his money, has an investor and is ready to get back into the business with a sit-down restaurant, also to be called Rocky’s Pub, at 117 Country Club Road in Sherwood, an announcement cheered by scores of Rocky’s Togo Facebook followers.
He hasn’t yet reached an agreement with the leasing company, but he’s feeling good about it. And he has most of the equipment and furnishings he needs, Dunlap said.
In addition to the cheesesteaks and other sandwiches, the menu lists spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, chicken parm and other Italian dishes, along with soups, salads and appetizers.
Dunlap said that Philadelphians eat cheesesteaks as often as most folks in the South might have a burger or catfish. It’s a staple and a tradition, in other words. When the family moved to Arkansas, they couldn’t find anywhere to satisfy their cheesesteak hunger. “So,” Dunlap said, “that’s when we realized, I guess that’s our calling.”
He’s hoping to be open by May 1.