• ROC’S SPORTS CAFEDOWNTOWN MISHAWAKA

    Ice Cold Beer, Fair Priced Food and the Burger
    (Voted Best in Mishawaka)
    Married with an Authentic Sports Bar Setting,
    All of that and More at Roc's Sports Café

    BY RONNIE EDWARDS

    There are a lot of good places to eat… and to drink in Mishawaka.
    One that has received less than its fair share of attention happens to be Roc’s Sports Café, downtown Mishawaka.
    When you walk in you are bombarded by the sports paraphernalia adorning the walls, counters, tables and even the ceiling.
    The first time I ate at Roc’s was after I had heard that one of their burgers was voted the Best Burger in Mishawaka and one of the top 25 Burgers in 100 miles. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll check it out. I headed down to Roc’s and found no parking close to the place (I discovered later that the city officials of Mishawaka were to thank for that issue, but that's another story), I walked inside and that was when I immediately became impressed with all of the sports memorabilia that seemed to be everywhere reminding me “yes, this is a sports bar”.

  • I’ve found it a bit odd to wander in to many of the local sports bars only to find there is hardly anything “sports” oriented in the place. In fact, many have remnants of promotional junk provided by beer and liquor distributors which is set out or hung in place of “sports stuff”. I guess since they have flat screens hanging on walls which happen to be tuned to a soccer, volleyball or other sporting channels they qualify to be a sports bar. This isn’t the case at Roc’s. He is certainly a hard core sports kinda guy.

    CUSTOMERS VISITING ROC'S ARE SURROUNDED BY VINTAGE SPORTS ITEMS THAT COVER WALLS, TABLES, DOORS AND EVEN CEILINGS. IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE A SPORTS FAN YOU WILL LOVE THE DECOR OF THIS COOL DOWNTOWN MISHAWAKA SPORTS BAR.

    So I sit down and proceed to order my “Montana Burger” (named after one of the famous sons of Notre Dame Football, Joe Montana) and I discover patrons are not allowed to order their burgers rare… or even medium rare. The waitress informs me, in no uncertain terms that “Roc, doesn’t allow that”. I find out later from the man himself that he certainly does not and will never allow such a thing. Not because he doesn’t care about his customers, quite the contrary, he is concerned enough about his customers that he’s willing to piss them off by not preparing their burgers “under-cooked” because he doesn’t want anyone to ever get sick from consuming food that is not cooked properly. “I’m not taking the chance of somebody getting sick, or worse. I’ve seen what can happen when someone gets sick from food not cooked long enough and it ain’t worth it.”

    So I go with the flow, order my Montana Burger and wait with anticipation. Meanwhile I discover that Roc's doesn't have a draft system but they certainly make up for it with their generous selection of bottled beers. In fact, I'm surprised to find they have my favorite brand in-house so I order one. A couple minutes later it's delivered to me in an ice cold mug, just exactly the way I like it. Now I'm feeling pretty at home so I ask the waitress to throw in a half dozen wings and I’m off to the races. The wings come out of the kitchen pretty quick considering it’s a Friday night and there are quite a few patrons that apparently had the same idea I had.

    As I chow down on the wings, which happen to be perfectly cooked, served crispy and hot; and I guzzle my cold beer, I look around and ask myself what makes this place unique. I watch the wait staff interact with the guests when it dawns on me that place is somewhat reminiscent to Cheers. I glanced around the place to see if Cliff might be hanging out at the bar, but not yet. Now, not everybody knew my name (in fact nobody did at that moment) yet they treated me like they knew me and that made me feel kind of special. Doesn’t it make everyone feel that way?


    Just as I finish my last wing, my waitress appears at my table with my delicious looking burger. I ask her if she was magic or if she was just watching and waiting for the perfect moment to deliver the goods. She informs me that she's “just that good”. She smiles and after placing this delicious looking burger in front of me asks if I would like another beer and the next thing I remember I'm biting into my Montana Burger like I hadn’t eaten in days.

    As I sit there devouring this fantastic sandwich I’m trying to figure out what makes it so damn good. Suddenly Roc himself walks up to my table and greets me as if we were old friends. He asks how my burger is and I tell him emphatically, “It’s amazing”. While many patrons might say this out of courtesy, I said it because it was purely fact. That seemed to make Roc genuinely happy. He thanks me for coming in and graciously moves on about his business.

    To sum it up, for me, the Roc’s experience was a good one: excellent burger, ice cold beer, fair prices, friendly people; and authentic sports bar atmosphere. Once again Mishawaka finds itself fortunate to have yet another local business that hits the ball out of the park!

    Check out all of the Best Burgers in Mishawaka
    See Roc's ZZZippy Quick Review

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