Chef Hans Rockenwagner burst on the local Venice dining scene in 1985 when he opened the original (40 seat) Rockenwagner on Abbot Kinney Blvd. where Joe’s is now.
In 1991 Rockenwagner moved to a much larger space in the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Complex in Santa Monica. A master bread baker from Germany was added to the culinary staff.
White asparagus, in season, became a signature menu item. He direct imported it himself from Germany bringing in 300 lbs. per week via air freight during the season.
Hans eventually discovered there was more money (and stability) in artisan bread and eventually closed Rockenwagner to concentrate on his growing wholesale bread baking business. He now has 60 bakers working around the clock seven days a week! Rockenwagner Bakery is a fixture at area Farmers Markets including the Sunday Beverly Hills Farmers Market.