Demand for Italian Beef Surged After ‘The Bear.’ Here Are Chicago’s Most-Searched Spots – NBC Chicago
“The Bear,” FX’s show about a famed-but-failing Italian beef shop in Chicago, took Hulu by storm. It also unleashed a raging craving for the dramedy’s menu-standout.
The fast-paced, chaos-ridden show has spurred a flurry of interest for Italian beef sandwiches since its release June 23. Spikes in searches for the staple started just days after the show rolled out its first few episodes, with Google Trends seeing interest in the dish nearly double.
As Chicago sets the show’s stage, people were clearly curious to see where they could get their hands on an au jus roll loaded with thinly sliced and seasoned roast beef and giardiniera.
While The Original Beef of Chicagoland doesn’t exist in real life, three restaurants in the city have carved out a name in the Italian beef industry.
Google Trends indicate that search interest in Mr. Beef on Orleans surged following the show’s premiere. The restaurant, which is speculated to be the inspiration behind “The Bear,” sits on 666 N. Orleans St.
Following the trend, Al’s #1 Italian Beef also reeled in more interest on Google. The sandwich shop running on 84 years of business has six eateries throughout the area.
The show also fueled an increase in Google searches for Johnnie’s Beef, an establishment located at 7500 W. North Ave. with much acclaim from customers on Yelp.
Star Jeremy Allen White, who plays head chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, gave credit where credit was due, telling Chicago Today that he grew even more of an appreciation for the industry after taking on the role.
“Now, the way that I look at restaurants, every one of them — whether its like a café, a bar, a restaurant, fast food — they’re all like miracles,” White said in an interview Aug. 5. “If they can really be consistent and keep those new customers coming in and those same customers coming back, it’s just an incredible thing.”