A little more than three months after the passing of founder George Randazzo of Bloomingdale, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame will hold its annual awards gala in his honor Saturday night in Rosemont. But the organization faces an uncertain future as volunteers try to fill the void left by Randazzo, the group's chief cheerleader an...

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) sends its thoughts and condolences to the family of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) Chairman and Founder George Randazzo who suddenly passed away on July 28. Mr. Randazzo, 77, was a pivotal figure in the Italian American Community and was a recipient of the NIAF Community Le...

Ron Onesti returned to Taylor Street with a bang last year, taking the venerable festa there to new heights. Never one to rest on his laurels, the president of Onesti Entertainment put the “icing” on the cassata with the addition this year of the Chicago Gelato Festival. The fest within a fest will feature samplings, demonstrations and a competitio...

The Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame has closed its museum at 1431 W. Taylor St., with George Randazzo, Hall of Fame founder and president, promising a “premier” new location that will include the Joe DiMaggio statue that has stood across the street since 1999. The Hall of Fame organization took the $150,000 Joe DiMaggio statue with it when it...

For more than 20 years, a statue of Joe DiMaggio has called Little Italy home since Piazza DiMaggio was dedicated to the New York baseball player in 1998. The legendary Yankees ballplayer even attended the ceremony when the plaza was dedicated to him. But late last week, the statue in the plaza at 1004 S. Bishop St. was abruptly removed and is now...

Welcome to the “The Grid,” the Chicago Sun-Times’ in-depth look at Chicago neighborhoods. Today’s stop: Little Italy. Located four miles west of downtown Chicago, Little Italy was the first stop for many Italian immigrants arriving to the city in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Filled with family-owned shops, restaurants and churches, it was the h...

A longtime Chicago eatery is being celebrated by the city and its fans for being a “cherished institution” known for its dipped (and dry) beef sandwiches. Al’s Italian Beef opened as a small neighborhood beef stand in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood in 1938 and the sandwich itself was said to be the idea of Al Ferrari and Chris Pacelli, Sr. Th...

Street crews were outside 1073 W. Vernon Park Place in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood because a crumbling piece of the sidewalk Food We Loveneeded repair. A 14-year-old Joey di Buono watched as they poured the cement. As it was setting, Joey decided to write something because that piece of cement was outside his grandparents restaurant: Tufano...

The renamed Little Italy Festa, formerly called Festa Italiana, will take place on Taylor Street east of Ashland Avenue Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 16 through 19. After a hiatus of several years, Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment is returning to produce the festa, which celebrates the historic Taylor Street-Little Italy community. The four-day e...

Festa Italiana on Taylor Street is being replaced this year by Little Italy Festa (Aug. 16-19), presented by Onesti Entertainment. Star Events, which puts on festivals around the city, took over Festa Italiana in 2014 from Onesti Entertainment, which is run by events producer and Little Italy native Ron Onesti. Onesti created the original festival...