Tears are still wept for ‘Old Rocky’s’

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket, Date: September 25, 2014

There are some things that can never be forgotten: that first kiss you had with the love that broke your heart, the first time you drove a car, your first day at Slippery Rock University, but most importantly, the old Rocky’s at the University Union.

For almost three years Old Rocky’s has been gone, but The Rocket staff is still talking about the beauty that was a taco salad and burrito bowl from La Roca, the perfection of chicken tenders and fries with cheese or made to order favorites at Joe’s. This was Old Rocky’s, and this will always hold a special place in our hearts.

 Also, Wrapped has nothing on Cyber Fresh in terms of taste and service. We’ll take that third chicken tender and as many toppings as we want, thank you.

In general, the food at Old Rocky’s was beyond comparison to the second-rate substitutions offered to students currently.

But it wasn’t just about the food at Old Rocky’s, that made it such a beloved place, it was the atmosphere. A dimly lit basement with couches sprawled out over hardwood flooring may not sound like the most appealing place to hang out, but for Slippery Rock University students, it was a refuge from the dimly lit classrooms filled with anguish and failure. It was a hangout location where we could relax and let go of our problems, if only until we finished that fantastic quesadilla. 

There were pool tables, arcade games and TV’s that people could actually watch, instead of having them awkwardly on in the background. In short, it was a really cool place to go.

July 2012 marked the opening of the $39 million Robert M. Smith Student Center, complete with a movie theater, bookstore, Starbucks, Quaker Steak and Lube, Electronic Technology Center, and a brand new and unimproved Rocky’s Food Court.

The bright open space of Rocky’s at the Robert M. Smith Student Center doesn’t feel like home at all. It feels like one is eating at a hotel, not a home. It’s like we’re a guest and can never really get comfortable. The object is just to get your food, eat it and leave.

The sad truth is that given enough time, Old Rocky’s will just be a recollection of alumni, like Old Weisenfluh or when Patterson was a dormitory. Students that hear about Old Rocky’s will not join in a passionate declaration of missing the chicken tenders but rather will look at the alumni with confusion, wondering why anyone would get so worked up over a restaurant. The cries of bring back Old Rocky’s will be seen as the overdramatic musing of alumni unopen to change when they are in fact an appreciation for a greater, happier time. They won’t understand, and that is a tragedy. 

Some of our younger staffers are already in this awful position, questioning what Old Rocky’s even served when it came up during a recent staff meeting. To you and all of SRU16, SRU17 and SRU18, we are truly sympathetic that you will never know the joys we experienced in our early years at Slippery Rock University.

In honor of the Slippery Rock University 125 anniversary celebration, The Rocket would love to see AVI bring back Old Rocky’s as best as possible, even if only for one day (a throwback Thursday, perhaps?) for all students to experience what we had.

For now though, Old Rocky’s, you will live on in our hearts and memories. May you never be forgotten. Love, the staff of The Rocket.



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