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Rocky's in Scott Township generous with food, friendliness

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:44 p.m.
Bartender Crystal Peterson serves up a cold one at Rocky's in Scott Township, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
The chocolate cake with peanut butter chips and chocolate icing is a favorite at Rocky's in Scott Township, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Rocky Zagari and Crystal Peterson present the fish sandwich platter at Rocky's in Scott Township, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
The jumbo fish sandwich platter is a favorite at Rocky's in Scott Township, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
The carrot cake is a favorite at Rocky's in Scott Township, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review

Rocky Zagari Jr. is following in his parent's food-steps.

The son of Domenica and Rocco Zagari Sr. continues what the couple started 30 years ago at Rocky's Restaurant & Lounge in Scott Township.

Zagari Jr. and his brother, Frank, started out as bartenders and cooks. In 1995, Frank opened Rocky's II in McKees Rocks, and Rocky Zagari Jr. became sole owner of Rocky's.

“This all began with my parents,” Zagari Jr. says. “They still love to come in here to eat. They have always believed in family, and this is a true family business. Rocky's is an old-fashioned neighborhood bar, which are a dying breed. It's a place where everyone knows everyone. We buy from other family businesses, such as Carnegie Beer Outlet and Nappies Food Service. My parents treated everyone like family, and I try to keep that tradition going”

Just like his parents, Zagari and the staff at Rocky's are welcoming the minute someone walks through the door, say Matt Schumacher and Peter Cetero. The co-workers from Woltz & Wind Ford in Heidelberg weren't even seated in a booth when the bartender asked, “Two teas?”

“See, they know us,” Schumacher says. “It's a great atmosphere here. They know what we want. That's how well customers are treated here. They greet everyone with a smile, too.”

“There are great specials every day,” Cetero says. “You get a lot of food, and it's all so good. We like everything here. The service is wonderful. You also can't beat the price.”

Some things that keep people coming back are the specials on wings, tacos and prime rib. The place is well-known for its “JUMBO” fish sandwich, which is available every day.

The fish is 1½ pounds of hand-breaded Icelandic cod. On Fridays, try it with macaroni and cheese for $9.60. There is also a smaller size.

During Lent, the place is packed. Cars line up along the street waiting for to-go orders. Workers run out with food and take their money, manager Crystal Peterson says.

Rocky's is a great place to watch your favorite game on one of five big-screen televisions. There is a separate bar and recently renovated dining area.

“It's more than just bar food,” Peterson says. “Some people think we are just a bar, but we have plenty of dinner items, too.”

Start with an appetizer such as butterfly shrimp for $6 or chili cheese fries for $5.50. The ever-popular Monster burger is $6.75. It's 9 ounces of beef with fried onions, mushrooms, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

Wraps are available, such as one with grilled chicken strips, lettuce, tomato and your choice of cheese for $7. The meatball grill is homemade meatballs grilled between cheesy garlic bread for $7.

Rocky's offers pasta dishes such as gnocchi with meatball for $6.75 and stuffed eggplant for $7. A whole rack of ribs is $15.95, a New York strip steak is $14.50, and crab cakes are $11.95. Hot meatloaf and hot roast beef dinners are $10.75 each.

Every day, there are two house-made soups and chili.

Finish off your meal with a delectable dessert, all which are house-made. Bob Teti makes the carrot cake (made from real carrots and topped with cream cheese icing), and Peterson creates the others such as fudge brownies, chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate sauce and banana bread.

“We give our customers huge portions in everything,” Peterson says. “We call them ‘Rocky-size' portions. Some are so big that patrons often split a meal.”

Peterson says she and the staff sometimes refer to customers by what they eat, because they come in so often the staff knows what they like.

“Rocky's is a place for everyone,” Peterson says. “We want everyone to feel welcome here and are happy to make them pretty much whatever they want and how they want it.”

The place has continued to thrive because of its strong family foundation and employees, many who have worked there a long time, Zagari Jr. says.

Rocky's Lounge is at 1201 Washington Ave., Scott Township. Kitchen hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. The bar is open until midnight or later. Details: 412-276-8610 or www.rockys1.com.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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