Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a real restaurant? The Bear Explained

By Louie Fecou
Published: August 31, 2023 (Last updated: March 27, 2024)
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Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a real restaurant - The Bear Explained

Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a real restaurant? We discuss the restaurant in the Hulu series and its authenticity. 

It was a bit of a hidden gem when it dropped on Hulu, and The Bear would soon have viewers clamoring for more.

The first season follows a talented young chef who has made his name in the high-pressure world of fine dining, returning to help out at his family’s sandwich shop in Chicago. It’s a simple premise, but it’s really the performances and tone of the show that would win people over, with many saying that it portrayed the reality of working in a kitchen under pressure.

The intensity of the episodes, helped by a shorter than normal run time, helps pull you in, and it has to be said, this show is shot meticulously despite it perhaps looking less polished than other shows do.

The soundtrack also helps, and the needle drops are well chosen and not just there because the rights were available.

All in all, the show might be one you missed, but if this introduction has intrigued you, why not give it a go? While you’re at it, don’t forget to read our other companion pieces about it right here on Ready Steady Cut.

This short article that will hopefully further whet your appetite for the series is going to answer the question: Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a real restaurant?

What is The Original Beef of Chicagoland in The Bear series?

The Original Beef of Chicagoland is a sandwich shop and is where the action is set in this series. It has seen better days, and the staff is a little disgruntled with their positions, but it is a well-known eatery and popular with locals.

After the death of his brother, the business is handed over to MasterChef Carmen Berzatto.

Carmen is played with astonishing clarity by Jeremy Allen White, whose performance almost convinces you that you are watching a documentary rather than a drama.

Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a real restaurant?

It is easy to see why people may think that this is a real restaurant, but it is, in fact, a fictional location developed for the series.

What is The Original Beef of Chicagoland based on?

The business is based on a real-life sandwich shop in Chicago called Mr. Beef. Many shots in season one were filmed at this location, although interior shots were done elsewhere. The restaurant is located at 666 N Orleans St in the River North area of the neighborhood.

It was purchased in 1979 by Joe Zucchero, who turned the shop into the well-known establishment that it is today.

However, sadly, Joe would pass away in March of 2023, leaving the business in the hands of his family, who continue to run it today.

The establishment is no stranger to the world of television and has made some other appearances that you might have seen.

It was featured in an episode of the late-night talk show The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and it was also on display in an episode of the reality show Food Wars that aired on The Discovery Channel.

Hulu, News, Streaming Service, TV, TV News
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