Dining With Denise Neil

Wellington loses Rocco’s Italian Restaurant

Rocco's opened at107 W. Harvey in Wellington in November 2014.
Rocco's opened at107 W. Harvey in Wellington in November 2014. File photo

It’s always sad when a restaurant closes.

But it’s extra sad when that restaurant is in a small town that doesn’t have many dining options to start with.

That’s what’s happened in Wellington, where Rocco’s Italian Restaurant has closed after a little more than a year in business. Chef John Conklin announced the news on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Jan. 6.

“As Chef, and as a team at Rocco's, we would like to thank you for all your love and support,” the post read. “Unfortunately, I regret to announce our doors are now closed. We feel blessed for all of our family; both staff and diners alike. All of our love is with you!”

Jeff Ralls, Mark Goodrum and Greg Erbert opened the Italian restaurant at 107 W. Harvey in November 2014 and employed chef John Conklin, who previously had cooked at YaYa’s Eurobistro and Gaslamp Grille. It had gotten good word-of-mouth from Wellington and Wichita residents.

The space has been home to several other restaurants in the past, including Cases Country Cafe and Linda’s Lunch Box Cafe.

The idea for Rocco’s originally came from Scott Cosentino, who had run Oliver’s Little Italy at 1930 S. Oliver, the former Angelo’s space. He closed that business and announced plans to move it to Wellington, but then he left the state.

I’ve left a message with Rocco’s and will let you know if I hear back.