Rocco’s Italian Restaurant has closed.

Rocco Dipentino opened the establishment in 1982 at 3878 Maizeland Road. Robert and Laurie Tust bought the business in December of 1994. In 2013, they moved the restaurant into the vacated Steaksmith at 3802 Maizeland Road, which is part of the same shopping center that housed the original Rocco's.

The Tusts handed the keys to the business over to Randy Rumple on Sept. 16, 2018.

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“He walked out of the restaurant Sept. 24, 2019,” Robert Tust said. “He defaulted on money owed to us and months of unpaid rent on the building, taxes and vendors. He has filed for personal bankruptcy.”

The Tusts said they had hoped to take ownership back in October.

“But when we heard of the outstanding bills, there was no way we could financially afford to pay off the debt amassed by Rumple,” Robert Tust said.

The Gazette reached out to Rumple for comment, but he has not returned calls.

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contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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