Rocco?s Spaghetti Stop Features 150-Year-Old Recipe

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Rocco’s Spaghetti Stop opened recently at 16 E. Mountain St. in Fayetteville in the building that previously housed the Red Bird Cafe.

Linda Higgins, owner of the restaurant, says she plans to open Rocco’s eateries in Springdale, Bentonville and possibly Rogers. The restaurant features a 150-year-old spaghetti sauce recipe that originated in Venice, Italy, and was handed down through the family of Sergio Battestetti. The secret sauce was featured at Sergio’s Spaghetti Stop in Hawaii. Battestetti died recently and willed the recipe to Higgins and her husband, John Rocco. Higgins, who has lived in Fayetteville for the past 20 years, decided to open the first Rocco’s Spaghetti Stop here. Higgins says the business may eventually go public and register nationally for Rocco’s franchise operations. In the meantime, the three restaurants in Hawaii that use Battestetti’s spaghetti sauce will have to stop doing so – they really don’t have any choice. “They don’t have the recipe,” Higgins says, “but they want it.” In addition to spaghetti, Rocco’s features a variety of Italian dishes as well as burgers. The restaurant seats 25 to 30 people inside and another 15 to 20 on the patio.