Is The Bear’s The Original Beef of Chicagoland a Real Restaurant?

‘The Bear,’ created by Christopher Storer (‘Ramy‘) and starring Jeremy Allen White (‘Shameless‘) in the lead role, is the story of the dysfunctional staff of an old Chicago restaurant. The restaurant called The Original Beef of Chicagoland falls under the management of expert chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto after his brother’s death.

Used to highly organized environments of top fine-dining restaurants in the country, Carmy faces struggles while running the small, disorganized, and cash-strapped restaurant started by his family. Given the emotions associated with the place, viewers must be wondering whether The Original Beef of Chicagoland is a real restaurant. If you are searching for an answer in that regard, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Is The Original Beef of Chicagoland a Real Sandwich Shop?

The Original Beef of Chicagoland serves as the primary setting of ‘The Bear.’ It is a sandwich shop run by the Berzattos after the family patriarch started the place several years before the show’s events. Michael “Mikey” Berzatto ran the restaurant until his death. After his death, Michael leaves the restaurant for his brother Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto through his will. The Original Beef of Chicagoland is located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago and is popular among the blue-collar crowd on the city’s Near North Side. Therefore, it is safe to say that the restaurant has a rich cultural heritage in the city.

As interesting as the history and stories of The Original Beef of Chicagoland are, it is not a real restaurant. The sandwich shop is a fictional creation to facilitate the show’s narrative that explores the hardships of the restaurant business world in a heartfelt and authentic manner. Since the show’s narrative itself is fictional, it is no surprise that The Original Beef of Chicagoland is also not a real place. However, the scenes featuring the fictional restaurant are indeed filmed at a real restaurant in Chicago.

In the show’s first season, Mr. Beef On Orleans, a restaurant/deli in Chicago, doubles as The Original Beef of Chicagoland. The restaurant is located at 666 North Orleans Street in Chicago. It was founded roughly thirty-three years ago in 1979 and has featured on the Travel Channel’s reality show ‘Food Wars.’ The restaurant’s food also appeared in an episode of the late-night talk show ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ and is frequented by several celebrities.

Just like its fictional counterpart Mr. Beef On Orleans is famous for its Italian beef sandwiches. Moreover, it is also situated in the River North community of the city. While the real restaurant likely did not inspire The Original Beef of Chicagoland, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to consider Mr. Beef On Orleans the real-world counterpart for the fictional sandwich shop. Therefore, any fans of the show looking to visit The Original Beef of Chicagoland will not be disappointed by a trip to Mr. Beef On Orleans.

Read More: Where is The Bear Filmed?