Chef Alex Seidel closing Roca’s Pizza & Pasta after just a year

A year after James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Alex Seidel reopened Frontroom Pizza in Lakewood as Roca’s Pizza & Pasta, the chef is throwing in the towel.

“We worked hard to create a neighborhood restaurant that felt like home to the local Lakewood community and that everyone could enjoy,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

“We also care deeply about our team and our customers, so choosing to close after a year in business was a hard decision for us to make – but, after all the tough nights and continued challenges, we feel it is the best choice,” he added.

Roca’s last day of service will be Sunday, April 30.

Seidel (Fruition, Mercantile, Chook, Fudmill) and chef Tim Bender (Comal, Osage Cafe) took over the space that had been occupied for more than three decades by Frontroom Pizza in January last year after the restaurant announced it was closing its doors. Seidel has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, and spent four months updating the kitchen and dining room and overhauling the food menu before reopening as Roca’s in April 2022.

The Lakewood pizza joint served thin-crust, tavern-style and thick-crust Sicilian-style pies as well as house-made noodles in classic preparations such as strozzapreti alla diavola and spaghetti alle vonghole.

This is the second restaurant that Seidel has closed in the last few months. At the end of February, Seidel and Adam Schlegel, owners of Chook, closed the fast-casual, rotisserie chicken restaurant’s underperforming Stanley Marketplace location.

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