Al's Italian Beef

On the corner of Welles and Ontario in Chicago's River North neighborhood sits Al's Italian Beef, just 4 doors north of the Flamingo Rum Club.  It is a venerable local institution, with 11 locations in Chicago.  Many celebrities have dined at Al's, as have thousands of other visitors.   You can get hamburgers, sausages, beanless chili and fries at Al's, but the signature dish is in the name--Italian beef.  Many love the sweet and hot peppers that are an option.  During the 45-minutes that it took to make this photograph, a steady number of people walked in and out and cars pulled up for the beef.

This stand caught my attention years ago, but until today, I have never been able to memorialize it with a photograph.  This is the sort of establishment that makes the River North neighborhood unique.  As pointed out in today's post on the Flamingo Rum Club, in spending time closely examining the structures on this block, I could envision another high-rise apartment building.  In fact, there is a huge dumpster sitting on the street one door down from Al's.  Is the adjacent building being renovated, or prepared for demolition?  Time will tell.  Let's hope we won't be saying "Where's the beef?" soon.

Pretty Flamingo

Pretty Flamingo

The Pit

The Pit