Buona, The Restaurant Group That Helped Make Italian Beef an Official Culinary Treasure of Chicago, Celebrates 35 Years

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Buona, The Original Italian Beef, celebrates its anniversary

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“My family and I are so excited to be celebrating the 35th anniversary of our business,” says Buonavolanto, Jr. “We are very proud to carry on our father’s legacy, and look forward to the next 35 years and beyond.”

Cheers! Buona, The Original Italian Beef, celebrates 35 years of serving up its famous beef to all of Chicagoland on January 21, 2016.

Joe Buonavolanto, Sr. opened the first Buona restaurant in 1981 in Berwyn, IL, bringing Italian beef to the suburbs. Mr. Buonavolanto was among a group of Italian immigrants who made the now-famous sandwich a staple of Chicago’s culinary scene. Depression-era stockyard workers who were looking for ways to make food go farther introduced Italian beef to the city. The sandwich, which typically uses lean and tougher cuts of meat that has been cooked for several hours, was often served at weddings and banquets. The meat was sliced thinly and served on bread with gravy to ensure that every guest was well fed.

Buonavolanto, Sr., who mortgaged his family home in Berwyn to finance his business, currently has five of his children and nine of his grandchildren involved in the business.

“My family and I are so excited to be celebrating the 35th anniversary of our business,” says Buonavolanto, Jr. “We are very proud to carry on our father’s legacy, and look forward to the next 35 years and beyond.”

With ever-changing trends in the food and restaurant industry, Buona has stayed true to its roots and has carefully safeguarded its recipe and the traditions of Italian beef making. Their process uses no preservatives, no chemicals or additives, and takes absolutely no short cuts.

Throughout its history, Buona restaurants have been actively involved in the communities in which they are located. They have raised more than $200,000 by hosting nearly 200 local fundraisers a year for the past 17 years, and have provided over 5,000 lunches to over 200 local schools since 2004. They are also strong supporters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and other charities. They are the Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Wolves and the DePaul Blue Demons.

With 16 locations currently located throughout Chicagoland and a new store opening in the Beverly neighborhood this spring, the family-owned restaurant group plans to open 25-30 more locations nationally within the next five years.

About Buona Restaurants
The first Buona restaurant began serving Chicago’s original Italian beef in Berwyn, IL in 1981. Founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr., the chain has expanded to sixteen locations while remaining family-owned and furthering a legacy that is equal parts family values, innovation, and adaptation. The family is defining the next-generation beef stand as a place that is the perfect blend of old-school indulgence in Chicago classics and next generation menu choices – made with a focus on fresh, scratch-made food. While the menu has expanded, the original beef recipe has not been compromised – for the three generations of Buonavolantos who are active in the company, comprise and quality are never uttered in the same breath. Buona has won several awards and accolades since its inception, and was included in Steve Dolinsky’s Top 15 Italian Beefs in Chicagoland. For more information, visit Buona online at http://www.buona.com, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

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Matt Hensler
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