WFLD-FOX  Chicago, IL  FOX Chicago News
Jul 17 2011 09:00PM CT

[19:59] Right after the break, a Chicago classic. GENE and GEORGETTI’S has befng around for longer than any other STEAKHOUSE. Secrets of their success.

[23:48] Time for another edition of classic Chicago, where we feature the people, places, and things that make our city so special. This week, we’re featuring Chicago’s OLDEST STEAKHOUSE, GENE and GEORGETTI’S. The len dear RESTAURANT is celebrating its 70 year. Corey McPherrin reports. The l, synonymous with Chicago. Rattles by on Franklin, just above another iconic landmark. Housed in a building that predates the l. GENE and GEORGETTI’S celebrating 70 YEARS of operation, in a wooden structure put up in 1872, a year after the Chicago fire. There were ordinances passed right after the Chicago fire of 1871, that says, no wooden buildings. This got in just under the wire.

[24:47] Well, here it is. Tony’s mission is to keep intricate decision of GENE and GEORGETTI’S alive. He and his wife took over soon after his father-in-law, the cofounder, GENE, passed away in 1989. Some of the old-timers will say you’ve done a great job of keeping a tradition going. And I tell them, I just haven’t screwed it up yet. To walk in to GENE and GEORGETTI’S is to walk into another time and place. It’s an old school STEAKHOUSE built on quality service, consistency, and of course, top-nooch food. The key to a great STEAK is a tremendous broiler, right? A lot of heat. When they’re delivered to us, these are old fashioned gas broilers.

[25:37] They’re at about 850 degrees. We modify them to about 1100,1200. We don’t put anything on the STEAK, no salt, pepper, no anything. It’s meat, it’s broirler, on the plate. That’s it. The other secret, longevity. The chef, for example, cooks a perfect STEAK every time, an employee for 35 years. My attitude has been if you want to be successful, surround yourself with great people. That’s what i’ve got here. We don’t do this alone. We do it together. Dominic ate his first meal at GENE and GEORGETTI’S in 1962. He says it’s the welcoming atmosphere and camaraderie that keeps him coming back again and again. Walking in here was like walking away from the everyday tremendous veils that one has to face with a sanctuary for people who like good food, good service, and where there was a

[26:37] The chairman of the board likessed it here. Frank Sinatra was a regular and became a good friend of GENE’S, who he’s sitting next to here in this photo. Another eye cock inn star, lucille ball was a huge fan too, and the big names, they keep coming. The president enjoyed a meal here not long ago. And russell crowe closed down the bar one night with Tony and his daughter. Maybe the best compliment of all, I bumped into competitors John and Steve, owner, operators of another Chicago institution, gibson’s STEAKHOUSE. We love the competition. This is the one we really love. GENE and GEORGETTI’S is the Chicago classic. We just wish them a lot of luck and many more years of success. This is what a STEAKHOUSE is all about. That was Corey McPherrin reporting. Classic Chicago is a regular feature on “good day Chicago.

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