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Saucy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Buona, the famous Chicago-based restaurant chain, is adding two new variations on its Original Italian Beef Sandwich, which it has dubbed ‘the Cheesy’ and ‘the Saucy.’ As Don Buonavolanto, one of the company’s founding brothers explains, “Despite our growth, our focus is still on finding new ways to bring our family recipes to yours; which is also why so many of the menu items – including both the Saucy and the Cheesy – feature Buona family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.”

Starting February 28, all 26 Buona locations will add the Cheesy and the Saucy to its permanent menu. The Cheesy option starts with a base of gourmet pub cheese spread, which is then topped with two layers of shredded cheddar cheese and two layers of Italian Beef. As for the Saucy, this sandwich consists of provolone cheese layered with Italian Beef, melted mozzarella cheese, and a housemade marinara sauce.

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The Business Week That Was: New Buona in Lakemoor

The Buona Companies’ 26th restaurant in the Chicago area debuted Tuesday at routes 12 and 120 in Lakemoor with two new menu items and a few days of bragging rights for local patrons.

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Buona joins Woodman’s Food Market in Lakemoor Commons, with a sandwich bonus

The Buona Companies’ 26th restaurant in the Chicago area debuted Tuesday in Lakemoor with two new menu items and a few days of bragging rights for local patrons.

Until Monday, Buona Lakemoor will be the only location in the familiar chain where customers can order a Cheesy Beef or Saucy Beef. One is loaded with cheese. The other is topped with extra marinara.

The opening of Lakemoor’s newest restaurant is an important milestone for the village.

Besides two Woodman’s branded gas stations flanking the giant grocery store anchor, Buona is the first of several anticipated new businesses to open in the 74-acre Lakemoor Commons shopping center.

“Today was a very proud day for Lakemoor,” Mayor Todd Weihofen said.

A Starbucks is expected to open in about two weeks, followed by a Chipotle restaurant in about six weeks, with other businesses pending.

“There’s a lot more coming in there,” Weihofen said.

Tuesday’s soft opening preceded the official public opening Wednesday. At lunch hour, Buona’s was hopping with dozens of patrons inside and at the drive-through.

Menu items were half off during a ceremonial ribbon cutting from 5 to 8 p.m., with proceeds benefiting Nicasa Behavioral Health Services.

The initial interest is a good sign for Lakemoor Commons, which arose from a long-vacant farm field south and west of the heavily traveled corner of routes 12 and 120.

Contending development at the prime corner wouldn’t occur without an incentive, the village designated the area as a special financing district. That was challenged in court by some neighboring taxing bodies.

The suit was settled in 2020 after five years. The 244,171-square-foot Woodman’s grocery store opened in September 2019, but until Tuesday, it was the only open business.

Lakemoor is a new market for Buona, as the closest location is in Algonquin, and no others are north of Hoffman Estates and Arlington Heights.

The building has 4,300 square feet of dining space, a covered patio and a two-lane drive-through. Like other locations, the menu features the Chicago Original Italian Beef Sandwich, chargrilled burgers, fresh pastas, homemade pizzas and chicken sandwiches.

A stand-alone Rainbow Cone will be offered as a full-service extension of the patio area in summer.

“When we started Buona over 40 years ago, the focus was and continues to be to bring our family recipes to communities,” founding brother Don Buonavolanto said in the release.

Andrea McCarthy, a McHenry resident who has worked at Woodman’s since it opened, said new businesses nearby will expand options and provide jobs.

“We need more stuff on this corner,” she said, while waiting in line for lunch Tuesday. “You don’t have time or you don’t want to be driving everywhere.”

As part of the agreement with Woodman’s, Lakemoor will rebate a portion of the annual sales tax proceeds up to $6 million. That includes $4 million Woodman’s fronted for extending utilities to the site.

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This Restaurant Chain To Open Near La Grange

LA GRANGE, IL — The Buona restaurant chain plans to open its newest location next Wednesday in Countryside, just across the road from La Grange village limits.

The restaurant will be at 2 W. Plainfield Road, the southwest corner of Plainfield and South La Grange roads. It has hired more than 50 people.

Now, the nearest Buona restaurants are in Berwyn and Hillside. All the chain’s restaurants are in the Chicago area.

“Its first restaurant opened in Berwyn in 1981, founded by Joe and Peggy Buonavolanto..”

Buona focuses on Italian beef. Its first restaurant opened in Berwyn in 1981, founded by Joe and Peggy Buonavolanto.

To celebrate the grand opening in Countryside, the restaurant plans a donation day on Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m. All menu items will be half off, with all proceeds going directly to the Center for Independence Through Conductive Education, a charity that focuses on helping children and adults with physical disabilities maximize their independence, according to Buona.

Daniel Giullani, Patch.com May 26, 2021

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Buona Beef in Countryside

The people who run Buona Beef have had their eyes on Countryside for years. And folks in Countryside, La Grange and other towns nearby now have their eyes on Buona Beef’s menu.

The popular Italian beef chain that started 40 years in Berwyn opened its newest and 25th location in Countryside at the southwest corner of Plainfield and La Grange roads on June 1.

It proved so popular, traffic for the drive-thru was briefly backed up onto Plainfield Road the opening day, a worker said.

 

“It’s been on our radar a while,” Dominic Fallara, Buona Beef’s director of operations, said of Countryside. “It’s a great location.”

A Boston Market had been on the site over the past 20-plus years, along with an Einstein’s Bagels and other businesses. But Boston Market left a few years ago, creating the vacancy. 

That’s when Buona Beef took notice of “a prime spot,” Fallara said. Fallara said Countryside city officials “were awesome and a pleasure to deal with.”

“They wanted to work with us, to make us get into the community,” Fallara said.

Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott said “we’re very excited about them coming to town.”

“It’s a great establishment and a wonderful addition to our other restaurants and retail vendors in the area,” he said.Countryside had talks with Buona Beef several years ago, but nothing resulted until the location opened up. The restaurant has 80 employees, Fallara said.

“That’s typical for an opening,” Fallara said. “Based on sales levels, we’ll go from there. We try to hire local people and try to reach out to the (area) high schools.”

Countryside was attractive because Buona Beef already has locations in Hillside to the north and Orland Park to the south, he said.“It’s a perfect fit for us,” Fallara said.

Since it began in Berwyn 40 years ago, Buona Beef “still uses the original recipe.”

Residents were “extremely excited,” McDermott said, and have eagerly anticipated ordering food there. 

There has been a steady stream of customers so far, employee Timothy Sharperson, of Broadview, said. Sharperson was standing near the drive-thru entrance, handing out menus to customers in cars and on foot.

“It was really busy here the first day, and at 10 o’clock this morning when we opened,” Sharperson said around 1:30 p.m. June 2.

 

 

Steve Metsch, Suburban Chicagoland June 21, 2021

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Can Buona hit a home run in Colorado?

Chicago-based Buona is opening its first location outside of Illinois in July inside a Denver, Colorado-based food hall but will also serve its Italian beef at the Colorado Rockies baseball stadium.

The 25-unit chain, founded over 40 years ago, has remained a family run business throughout its growth and expansion, but as the family of restaurateurs considered stepping outside of Illinois, they were thoughtful in choosing their next location. Not only is Colorado a popular relocation destination for many former Illinoisans, but they also have a booming restaurant scene that is popular with locals and tourists alike. With Buona’s focus on all-natural ingredients, the food culture in Denver made it a natural fit for the Buona brand, said Joe Buonavolanto Jr., a second-generation owner.

“We’re looking forward to opening our first franchised restaurant in the Denver, Colorado market, and we hope it will be the first of many,” he said in a company press release. “When we were considering potential locations, Denver felt like a natural fit for Buona’s first out-of-state expansion. There’s such a wonderful food-driven culture in the Denver area, we instantly felt like it was a community we wanted to join; and then when there was the opportunity to partner with the Colorado Rockies to provide their stadium with our famous Buona beef, we knew that we’d found our new home.”

“We’re looking forward to opening our first franchised restaurant in the Denver, Colorado market – and we hope it will be the first of many”

The latest location is also unique for Buona because it will be the first of its restaurants to be in a food hall — found at 1901 Wazee St., in downtown Denver.

Buona’s partnership with the Rockies is similar to the relationships it has with the Cubs, Bears and Red Sox in Chicago. Also, just as with the restaurant on Wazee Street, all the ingredients provided to the baseball stadium will be sourced directly from Buona’s distribution center in Chicago, according to the release.

Cherry Canslerat at Fast Casual.com 

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The South Side’s Original Rainbow Cone is headed to the North Side

North Siders, get ready for a South Side classic: The Original Rainbow Cone is taking its partnership with Buona Beef to the other side of the city next spring.

The northward expansion comes after the two longtime Chicago eateries have seen early success at their recently opened joint locations in Lombard and Darien.

“We plan on bringing this to as many communities as we can,” said John Buonavolanto, one of 15 members of the third generation in charge of the 40-year-old beef sandwich empire.

The partnership came together just as the pandemic hit last year. Lynn Sapp, a third-generation owner of the iconic sliced-not-scooped ice cream shop, said the partnership allowed her to expand her business while most restaurants were downsizing or closing.

The first step was putting four Rainbow Cone ice cream trucks on the road, something Sapp had always wanted to do but didn’t have the team to make it happen.

“That’s the beauty of the partnership,” said Sapp. “They have the infrastructure to do it, they have the 15 members of the family to do it and the experience and the knowledge.”

Buonavolanto said it was the success of the trucks in 2020 that boosted the restaurateurs’ confidence to open new locations. The only learning curve, he said, was how to properly slice the ice cream. An Original Rainbow Cone is five slices of orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House, strawberry and chocolate.

“The beauty of both products together is that because it’s family orientated, it’s a simple thing that’s bringing people together,” Sapp said.

No decisions have been made about where the North Side location will be or what it will look like. The Lombard and Darien locations each bring something new to the 95-year-old ice cream business.

The Lombard shop, which opened in May at 498 E. Roosevelt Road, has the first Rainbow Cone drive-thru window. Meanwhile, the Darien location that opened last week at 7417 S. Cass Ave. has a freestanding ice cream parlor attached to the Buona dining room.

“The beauty of this collaboration with these younger generations is their vision,” Sapp said. “They kept the cone original, but what they’ve done with the surfaces of the stores … takes you away from the street and walks you into a different place. That’s what’s so fun about it.”

Even as the styling of the locations differ and the partnership evolves, Buonavolanto promised, “The beef is never gonna change. The Rainbow Cone is never gonna change.”

By 

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Buona Expanding to Denver

The Buona Companies, owner and operator of family owned Buona, recently announced that the company is expanding its operations to include the first franchised Buona restaurant, located in Denver, Colorado. The company currently has 25 restaurants across Illinois, primarily located in the Greater Chicago area, but will open its 26th location in the Denver market. In addition, beginning this month, Buona will begin providing its famous Buona Italian Beef to the Colorado Rockies baseball stadium. Buona was founded over 40 years ago and has remained a family-run business throughout its growth and expansion, but as the family of restaurateurs considered stepping outside of Illinois – they were thoughtful in choosing their next location.

Not only is Colorado a popular relocation destination for many former Illinoisans, but they also have a booming restaurant scene that is popular with locals and tourists alike. With Buona’s focus on all-natural ingredients, the food culture in Denver made it a natural fit for the Buona brand.

 

As operations expand outside of Illinois, Buona is committed to delivering the same great experience and food that customers currently enjoy at all Buona locations. All the ingredients that have made Buona so popular – including the famous Italian Beef, signature French bread, and hot or mild giardiniera – will be sourced directly from Chicagoland, helping bring the authentic Buona experience to its Denver patrons.

“We’re looking forward to opening our first franchised restaurant in the Denver, Colorado market – and we hope it will be the first of many,” says Joe Buonavolanto Jr., second generation owner.

The latest location is also unique for Buona because it will be the first of its restaurants to be in a food hall, found at 1901 Wazee Street in downtown Denver. The food hall scene in Denver has been rapidly expanding over the past 8 years – and by choosing this venue for its latest location, Buona can cater to this emerging trend and target a new market, all while building the family-oriented experience that it’s known for. This location will open the first week of July as a Buona express and will offer a limited menu that will include many of Buona’s popular options like the Original Italian Beef Sandwich, burgers, Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich, and Signature Italian Sausage. In addition to opening this location in downtown Denver, Buona has also partnered with the Colorado Rockies to provide its famous Buona Beef to their stadium – similar to the relationships they have with the Cubs, Bears and White Sox in Chicago. Also, just as with the new restaurant on Wazee Street, all the ingredients provided to the baseball stadium will be sourced directly from Buona’s distribution center in Chicago to ensure patrons are getting the authentic Buona Experience.

“We’re looking forward to opening our first franchised restaurant in the Denver, Colorado market – and we hope it will be the first of many,” shares Joe Buonavolanto Jr.,Second Generation Owner. “When we were considering potential locations, Denver felt like a natural fit for Buona’s first out-of-state expansion. There’s such a wonderful food-driven culture in the Denver area, we instantly felt like it was a community we wanted to join; and then when there was the opportunity to partner with the Colorado Rockies to provide their stadium with our famous Buona beef – we knew that we’d found our new home.”

QSR INDUSTRY NEWS | JUNE 23, 2021

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Metro Moves: Buona Beef

Coming soon

Buona Beef, famous for its “Original Italian Beef Sandwich,” plans to open its 26th location at McGregor Square, 1901 Wazee Street, in Denver’s LoDo at the end of June.

The Chicago-based restaurant will offer “an extensive menu that will include many of Buona’s popular options like the Original Italian Beef Sandwich, burgers, Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich, char-Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and their hot or mild giardiniera – all sourced directly from the Chicagoland area.”

Colorado Rockies fans don’t have to cross 20th Street to get their taste of Buona – the company this month started providing its famous Buona Italian Beef to Coors Field. Cubs fans should be happy.

Dennis Huspeni, Denver Gazette June 13, 2021

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NBC Chicago announces the Darien dual concept opening

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