Rokkos closes in Cheney; Coeur d’Alene location open


Michael Brock

After six years in business, the Rokkos Teriyaki & BBQ restaurant in Cheney closed in November. The owners opened a new Coeur d’Alene location in December.

By Michael Brock, Editor in Chief

The Rokkos Teriyaki & BBQ restaurant in Cheney has closed, the restaurant announced Jan. 15 on Facebook.

This comes a month after owners David and Inez Hall opened a new Coeur d’Alene location in December. The couple declined to comment for this story.

Over the last several months before closing shop, the Halls tried to secure a reliable management team to look after the Cheney location while they got the ball rolling in Idaho, according to the post. Unfortunately, the pursuit was unsuccessful.

“We knew it was a tall order to find responsible people to maintain the quality that we insist for our customers,” the post read.

The Halls opened the original Japanese-style teriyaki restaurant in 2012. The new establishment has the same menu, including hefty portions of chicken, beef, tofu, vegetables and meatballs served with sides of rice, green salad and wasabi mac salad. Other items comprise of yakisoba noodles, loco moco, fried rice and spam.

“It was pretty disappointing,” EWU senior Bobby Nguyen said. “My girlfriend and I drove up here (from Spokane Valley) to go eat there like two weeks ago and saw it was closed. We looked on Facebook and realized they weren’t going to reopen in Cheney.”

Still determined, Nguyen and his girlfriend made the drive back through Spokane to Coeur d’Alene to get their Rokkos fix.

It has always been a goal of the Rokkos management to open up a second location, and when the Coeur d’Alene site became available they knew it was the right fit, according to the post. The Halls also have aspirations of owning a mobile Rokkos food truck and packaging their own signature sauces and mac salad for grocery stores.

“We believe that the consistency of revenue flow that the CDA location provides will allow us to do this and more,” the post read. “We plan to work very hard to get a mobile truck and visit Cheney for various athletic events, festivals and more.”

On Nov. 19, Rokkos announced on Facebook that they’d be closed for the week of Thanksgiving. They wrote a week later, on Nov. 26, that they’d be closed for the remainder of 2018. The next day, the restaurant published a post stating that they were opening up a location in Coeur d’Alene and gave a reason for the end-of-year closure.

“We didn’t have the staff necessary and freely available during December to run the Cheney operation in a manner that is acceptable to us or our customers,” the post read. “December is historically our worst month and felt that it was the best opportunity for us to dedicate our energy towards the second location.”

Although M.R. Piggy’s BBQ Cafe recently opened in downtown Cheney, Nguyen says Rokkos’ departure leaves a void in the college town.

“It leaves Cheney with a pit,” said Nguyen, whose favorite meal at the restaurant is the loco moco. “It’s like if the Monterey (Pub & Grub) closed. What else is there to eat here? There’s like six actual restaurants.”