FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
One of Chicago’s historic restaurants continues to evolve during the Coronavirus pandemic, looks towards the future with grocery-to-go selections
CHICAGO, IL (May 23, 2020) – Gene & Georgetti, Chicago’s original steakhouse since 1941, launches “Ida’s Pantry” (click here for menu) today. Inspired by the quality selections and local markets in the family’s ancestral town of Lucca, Italy, the steakhouse is proud to offer a delicious solution that not only allows customers to skip out on the grocery store, but also gives them the opportunity to get some of their “G&G” favorites delivered right to their door.
“We’re delighted to present this latest addition of fresh selections for Chicago to enjoy,” says Michelle Durpetti, daughter of longtime owner Tony Durpetti.
After suffering a kitchen fire in October 2019 at its downtown location in the heart of River North (500 N. Franklin St.), the Durpetti family – who owns the iconic destination – was planning a symbolic reopening, “That would have paid homage to a rich past while celebrating the future of the Gene & Georgetti name.” “Instead,” says Michelle, “we opened for delivery and carry out that very same day, which was something we had not done much of before this pandemic.” Having calibrated quickly albeit somewhat painfully, “We definitely had some bumps in the road when we started. Processing what was happening while trying to stay focused on preserving the brand, being mindful of employees, all while navigating the constantly evolving health and safety protocols always requires time. It feels like something we just don’t have when things change so fast.”
Gene & Georgetti has continued to offer its customers quality, affordable options to feed their families and loved ones. “As a family, we decided that the best way to pay homage to the tenacity of both Gene & Georgetti was in opening and being here for Chicago just as they did when they opened in 1941.” The effort is a family affair. Son-in-law Collin Pierson (a professional photographer) designed and created the “G and G to go” website and had it ready before the mandated shutdown. “Collin has been instrumental in helping us apply technology to our brand,” says Michelle. “As a family, and as a brand, we tend to gravitate towards the old school, and Collin knows how to respect that while bringing more contemporary thinking into discussions. This has been invaluable to our brand at this time.”
“This pandemic has taught us now more than ever that necessity is the mother of invention,” says Tony, and “like every restaurant out there we have had to think on our feet and be creative while staying true to our core brand values.” The pantry list was an idea that began with a family discussion about a recent trip to Italy, and how much they love the local grocery shopping experience when there. “I was raised by a mother and grandmother (Ida) who went to their favorite butcher for quality cuts, and their favorite fishmonger for the freshest catch. Nothing was about volume. Everything was small, and family owned. This was (and still is) a very Italian
mentality, and it is very much a part of our core values as a family. We always had a pantry that was stocked from special local markets and I wanted to create something inspired by that,” says Michelle.
Ida’s Pantry, named after Gene’s wife and the matriarch of the family, includes offerings that are meant to enhance a home’s pantry and “Bring a little of our family to yours.” “The Butcher’s List” includes a selection of prime aged, vacuum cuts like the signature 18oz bone in ribeye and the double cut Colorado lamb chops. Also included are additional options like Italian sausage, chicken and burgers that are the perfect addition to any summer bar-b-que.
Additionally, the grocery offers:
The Fishermans’s Catch – fresh seafood selections including signature U10 gulf shrimp that have made the garbage salad and shrimp cocktail classic favorites.
Il Pastaficio – homemade pasta sauces and pasta selections including our homemade meat and cheese ravioli
Sides including classic salad favorites like the Caesar and Garbage, homemade meatballs as Ida loved to make, and a few summer staples perfect for any backyard grilling night. “The cornbread made by Chef Luis is one of my absolute favorite things that he makes!,” says Michelle.
The blending of family favorites and chef favorites is very much becoming a part of this next chapter in the story of the brand. Luis Brizuela & Cristiano Bassani are the chefs for Gene & Georgetti Chicago and Rosemont, but work as one team creating new dishes and monitoring the quality of the classics as well.
Featured in the grocery selections is a new addition to the brand and something the family is so excited about; The Spice Rack. Offering 5 varieties, Steak, Poultry, Seafood, Pork and Spicy, they hope to see families adding a dash of Gene & Georgetti flavor to every dish.
“We are thrilled to offer Ida’s Pantry and are excited to see it evolve seasonally. It is our intention that this grocery will grow and include more of the things that our customers love, and that we have always loved as well, says Michelle. “79 years is a long time to be around. We have seen our fair share of evolution. We believe that delivery and carry out is here to stay, so we are dedicating ourselves to creating menus that are a natural evolution of the classics that people have come to love. We have some really cool ideas in development right now that we are excited about. Our goal is to continue to show Chicago our love the very best way that we know how; from our kitchen to their tables. And this is how we honor and protect the legacy that we have been entrusted with.”
Gene & Georgetti is open for delivery and pick-up 7 days a week. Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Sundays 3:00 – 8:00 Available for delivery and pickup. It will be open Memorial Day with delivery and curbside available with pre-order available.
# # #
High-resolution photography available
FOR: Ida’s Pantry
Gene & Georgetti
Michelle Durpetti | Michelle@durpettievents.com | (312) 215-7570