Roxy Cafe

Roxy Cafe was located at 231 N. Howard Street. It was operated by Rocco “Roxy” Piscazzi. There was an earlier Roxy Cafe located at 164 South Main Street that opened to great fanfare in 1929, but went bankrupt no later than 1934. It is not clear when Piscazzi opened his establishment, but it was listed in the Akron Negro Directory in 1940.

Piscazzi had been arrested in the 1930s for being part of illegal gambling and lottery operations, apparently working for the more well known Liborio “Whiskey Dick” Percoco, who also ran bootlegging operations under Prohibition. Piscazzi died in 1962 for what was ruled as a suicide. He was 59 years old.

There is now a distillery owned by the Piscazzi’s located in Merriman Valley. Towpath Distillery honors Rocco Piscazzi and his legacy of the Roxy Cafe after Prohibition.

Sanborn Map of Akron, 1940 | Library of Congress

Resources

  • “16 Are Arrested as Police Declare “Policy” Warfare,” The Akron Beacon Journal, Nov. 7, 1935, pg. 19.
  • “Beauty, Convenience Found in New Cafe” The Akron Beacon Journal, Mar 29, 1929, pg 28.
  • “Moonshine and Memories,” The Akron Beacon Journal, July 9, 1978, pg. 133.
  • “Our Story” Towpath Distillery, https://towpath-distillery.com/our-story.
  • “Rules Death Of Piscazzi A Suicide,” The Akron Beacon Journal, Mar 13, 1962, pg. 8.