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Al Capone’s Seafood & Pizza, in case you haven’t heard of it, can be found in the Mirador area on Ave. Sinaloa, on the side of town heading toward Las Conchas (just south of Blvd. Fremont). Also, in case you hadn’t heard, Capone’s celebrated its 10th Anniversary this past September!
Created by owners John Hostak and Dave Roberts, former part-owners and founders of the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Capone’s is a seafood and pizza restaurant that has surely become a must stop on just about everyone’s list when visiting Rocky Point!
Originally, based on their success with Four Peaks Brewery, John and Dave had planned to open a brewery here. However, due to the downturn in the economy, they felt it safer to just build a small restaurant in town until the storm blew over. Ten years later, Capone’s has grown from what was a small (and possibly the tastiest) pizza spot, into a fully-fledged restaurant featuring original plates of local seafood as well as pizza, based on a variety of local ingredients.
Talking with Dave, who designs the menu and recipes at Capone’s, he explains, “When we first opened, we noticed that all the other restaurants only served flounder and shrimp. With such a vast variety of fish right here in the ocean, we decided to go out fishing and find out just what better options there were. What we found was grouper. Lots of it!! In our opinion, grouper is a far superior fish than flounder. Plus, with local blue crab processing plants and clam farms here in town, the options and availability for some of the best ingredients in the world are all right here under our noses, and no one was using them. So, we decided to build a menu based on the ingredients available. Of course, once people discovered us, and the other restaurants took note of our popularity, our menu was copied from one end of town to the other!! We are continuously re-writing our menu, looking for new ingredients, and making original plates that no one else serves.”
Dave goes on, “Our breakfast menu is a work of art!! Everyone should try it! Try every item on the menu, from morning to night, not just the pizza (Though our pizza is excellent, it’s a distraction to the rest of the menu, which is fantastic).
Capone’s still has much of its original crew, who have been with them since day one. Head Chef Luis Corrales, who has been working with Dave on the menu and recipe design, is an excellent cook, says Dave. “He fully understands all the unique ingredients we work with on a daily basis, and has a lot of patience when it comes to trying all my crazy new concepts!! I don’t know what we would do without him, he’s amazing!!”
Another pleasant fixture who has been with Capone’s since day one is Armando Macias, better known as “Pac-Man”. Almost everyone who has ever been to Capone’s, if they spend any time at the bar, goes home with a few jokes from Pac. His friendly attitude, and never forget anyone’s name attitude, keeps people coming back time and time again. Many like to say Capone’s reminds them of the tv series “Cheers”, with its local neighborhood feel, where everyone knows your name, especially Pac.
John, who’s forte is service in front of the house, works hard to provide the best service in Rocky Point. At one point, John worked behind the bar though has now passed his abilities onto Pac. He can undoubtedly be spotted on Sundays, dressed in purple and gold with long blonde lady locks, watching football and cheering for the Vikings.
After ten years, Capone’s is still growing. An additional parking lot across the street will be added this November. “Parking is a service that many don’t consider in Rocky Point. We like to make sure our customers have somewhere close and easy to park. Parking shouldn’t be a hassle when you go out for the evening”
Capone’s has grown so much that John and Dave are considering re-building on the lot next door, replete with a pool and swim up bar, and a larger bar in general. Dave explains, “Our goal at this point isn’t to have more space for more customers, that would mean we would need a larger kitchen, we want to create ‘better space.’ Building a newer version of Capone’s would give us better use of space, providing more bar – which we badly need – and a pool for families so they can come during the day and visit with the kids while they eat and enjoy an adult- beverage. Better use of the space for the good of our customers is our goal. A more efficient kitchen is one thing, but if the kitchen gets too big, then the cooks lose the feel and attention to each and every plate they make, and we don’t want to sacrifice the quality of our food, ever.”
In Dave’s words, “We are a “slow food” restaurant. Our food matters, and it’s worth waiting for!! Besides, you are in Mexico, what’s the hurry? Relax!! Have a drink, listen to Pac Man’s jokes at the bar!
What’s in the future for Capone’s beside possibly a bigger space? Well, John and Dave still talk about building the brewery they didn’t build 10 years ago. “Though Capone’s is a great idea, perhaps the time has come to start making beer again,” hints Roberts. So keep your eyes and ears open, and your fingers crossed, as they may just decide to do it!!