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Rocco's Little Chicago moving to bigger space on Broadway

Restaurant relocating to 'Sol Block' development near Tucson Boulevard
Rocco's Little Chicago, pictured in April 2024.
Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 11, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Rocco’s Little Chicago is going to take a bigger slice of Tucson’s ‘Sunshine Mile’ on Broadway.

Rocco DiGrazia opened his namesake restaurant back in 1998, in a space that was originally a doughnut shop.

“We always knew we were a little bit small for the space,” he told KGUN 9. “We’ve learned to live with its confines and its idiosyncrasies. It’ll be nice to get into something that we’ve designed to flow the way we want it to instead of making do with what we have here.

“I think we’re ready to go.”

The new space is just a block away, at the ‘Sol Block’ development where Solot Plaza used to sit.

RELATED: Reborn shops on the way for Sunshine Mile

Construction crews are restoring the buildings and they will soon add parking behind.

The ‘Sol Block’ has plans for entertainment, retail, bars, restaurants and more.

“Rocco’s is gonna be a home run here,” said Edmund Marquez, vice chairman of the Rio Nuevo board.

Rio Nuevo is backing a few different projects on Broadway to breathe life back into the Sunshine Mile.

The ‘Sol Block’ project is a combined effort with Larsen Baker Commercial Real Estate.

“You really want some of your brightest and best developers working on this Broadway corridor because it’s ours,” Marquez said. “It’s our boulevard. We just expanded it. And we have an opportunity to make Broadway a destination, which we’re excited about.”

For DiGrazia, the bigger location means be he’ll able to start catering, and stop turning away as many customers during busy times.

“We’re gonna double our seating capacity,” he explained. “We’re doubling our kitchen size, we’re doubling our bar size… More ability to do what we’re good at, and what we want to get good at.”

The first Sol Block businesses are expected to open later this year.

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Ryan Fish is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9 and comes to the Sonoran Desert from California’s Central Coast after working as a reporter, sports anchor and weather forecaster in Santa Barbara. Ryan grew up in the Chicago suburbs, frequently visiting family in Tucson. Share your story ideas and important issues with Ryan by emailing ryan.fish@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.