Portillo’s, the fast casual chain known for hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and chocolate cake shakes, plans to go public, the company said Monday. Oak Brook-based Portillo’s confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with federal regulators. The company said it is still determining the number of shares it will offer and the price ra...

The Columbus Day Queen Contest has a new lease on life thanks to the Avanti Group. Sponsored for decades by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the pageant was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. “We thought it was important to keep the tradition going, and the JCCIA was grateful for the assist,” says Pasquale Gianni, president o...

In the very week that the entire country was shutting down as COVID-19 spread across U.S. soil, Jeff Mauro was holed up in an Airbnb with his wife, photographer, and food stylist to capture photos for his upcoming cookbook, Come On Over. As the title might suggest, its original intention was all about gathering together, having friends and family...

Opera Festival of Chicago presents "Dante 700" Wednesday, July 28th at 8pm & Thursday, July 29th at 8pm Artifacts Events4325 N Ravenswood AveChicago, IL Dante Alighieri, Christian philosopher and poet, lived seven hundred years ago. Works such as his Divina Commedia and La Vita Nuovo have inspired operatic composers such as Gaetano Donizetti, Giaco...

With state restrictions finally lifted, Casa Italia is back in full swing. The Casa got the ball rolling in June with the revival of its bocce league. The 10-week tourney pits 16 teams of four against each other in a pitched battle for coveted trophies plus bragging rights until next year’s competition. Having gathered via Zoom last year, I-A Liter...

With a notable diplomatic pedigree and multinational roots, Thomas Botzios brings a global perspective to his role as the Midwest’s new Italian consul general. If anyone was born to be a diplomat, it’s Thomas Botzios. The Midwest’s new Italian consul general pursued the same career path as his father and uncle, Elias and Christos Botzios, both of w...

In June 2020, as attacks on Columbus statues across the country heated up, a group of Italian Americans led by Carlo Vaniglia started meeting at Arrigo Park in Little Italy every Sunday morning. Originally dubbed “Coffee with Columbus,” the gatherings were meant as a peaceful show of support for their heritage. When the city of Chicago decided to r...

My journey started in the Fall of 2002 when my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, brought home a new history project from school.  The assignment: “Find out which ancestors came to America and Why.” I knew a little bit about my father’s paternal side, but not much.  By the time I was born, our family was 100% Americanized, though both of my parents were 1...

Legendary Chicago Italian restaurant Spiaggia, which has been open for 37 years, announced Friday it is permanently closed. Owners of the Michelin-starred restaurant and its sister concept, Café Spiaggia, were unable to restructure its soon-to-expire Michigan Avenue lease, a move that “was necessary to reflect the realities of operating a restauran...

After guarding the Korean DMZ for most of his tour of duty in the Army during the Vietnam War, Luco Clarizio watched over fallen soldiers returning to the States, escorting their caskets from the airport to the cemetery. The oldest of two sons born to Dominick and Mary (Viola) Clarizio, Luco was brought into this world by his maternal grandmother i...