Collingwood's Rockwell & Sons to close on June 2

Rockwell & Sons's fried chicken dinner.
Rockwell & Sons's fried chicken dinner. Photo: Raphael Recht

Say farewell to the double patty smash burger, togarashi tater tots and Wednesday fried chicken dinners, Melbourne. After seven years, popular Collingwood diner Rockwell & Sons is closing on June 2.

"It wasn't a financial decision," says co-owner Casey Wall, who's also a partner in Bar Liberty, cocktail bar Above Board and Carlton red-sauce Italian Capitano. "It's run its course."

When they opened at 288 Smith Street in 2012, few other businesses were serving American diner-style dishes.

Manu Potoi and Casey Wall at Rockwell & Sons shortly before it opened in 2012.
Manu Potoi and Casey Wall at Rockwell & Sons shortly before it opened in 2012. Photo: Eddie Jim

"But now there are a lot of places doing it," says Wall. "And it's not how I want to eat any more."

Initially, the menu combined fine-dining elements with down-home USA food, a reflection of Wall's North Carolina upbringing, his experience at Cutler & Co and NYC's Spotted Pig and Le Cirque, and Potoi's Stokehouse and Attica training.

But gradually, diner dishes such as its cult favourite double patty smash burger won out.

Wall and business partner Manu Potoi haven't yet decided what they'll install in the space, or even whether they will reopen.

"It's not a super rush. We have a firmer idea of what we're not going to do."

Since news broke of Rockwell's impending closure, Wall says he's been surprised by the heartfelt messages he's received from customers saying how much the place has meant to them, including one who said it was where they'd met their partner.

Wall says he will be in the kitchen next Wednesday to serve up one last fried chicken dinner – a whole chicken and sides such as devilled eggs, house pickles and Carolina-style coleslaw, for $65. Bookings and pre-payment at rockwellandsons.com.au/chicken-bookings