A Chicago legend, whose Italian beef sandwich helped inspire 'The Bear,' has died
Who is he? Joseph Zucchero was the co-founder of Mr. Beef, a staple in Chicago's River North neighborhood that had gained a following for dishing out beloved Italian beef sandwiches. He died unexpectedly on March 1, according to his obituary. He was 69 years old.
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What's the big deal? Zucchero's beloved sandwich joint got attention and inspired many far and wide.
What are people saying?
Christopher Zucchero, to WBEZ, on the identity of the Italian beef sandwich:
It's strictly our root food. It really is our food here in Chicago, as opposed to the Philly cheesesteak or a New York — I don't even know if they have a meat type of sandwich in New York.
Joseph Zucchero on Chris Storer, the creator of The Bear, recreating his restaurant for the show:
My son and a young man that he grew up with, Chris Storer, would come down here when they were kids. You know, they were kids, and I let them hang around the restaurant.
They built this [set] inside a building. And they took me to it. They wanted me to see it. And my mouth dropped. I was like, 'Oh, my God' — I mean, from the floor to the ceiling to the countertops to the equipment.
Saddened to hear Joe Zucchero, the founder of Chicago's iconic Mr. Beef, has passed away. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to sit down with Joe back in November.— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) March 6, 2023
Sending my condolences to his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/Ngvccz0gK0
35 years ago my wife surprised me on my birthday by having a party in Chicago catered by Mr. Beef. Thus began a friendship that has endured all these years.— Joe Mantegna (@JoeMantegna) March 3, 2023
R.I.P Joe Zucchero. I’m glad you were around to see the success of @TheBearFX The beat goes on.
So, what now?
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