Bill and Giuliana Rancic to Open Chicago Italian Restaurant
Big Food News: The Melmans and the Rancics Join Forces For an Italian Eatery
In just a few short years, Jerrod and RJ Melman (shown above) have become some of the city's most successful restaurateurs, following in their dad's lofty footsteps, so it's not a shocker that they're keeping it rolling with another new concept. What is a bit of a surprise: they'll be partnering with Bill and Giuliana Rancic for an Italian spot set to open in River North in January.
If you're a fan of the couple's Style Network reality show, Giuliana and Bill, you've heard the Rancics talk about potentially opening a restaurant in Chicago, and you'll be able to see the planning process as the season progresses. A few details: impressive Chef Doug Psaltis (formerly of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York and Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Napa) will head up the kitchen. Mama DePandi, Giuliana's mom, a native of Naples, Italy, will be a regular at the restaurant, and Bill and Giuliana will be involved in every aspect of the eatery. (They'll be in town this Labor Day weekend working with the Melmans.) "This place will be our home base in Chicago – and, obviously, our favorite place to eat," Giuliana said in a press release. "Now, I just need to figure out the really important question – what are the servers going to wear?" The restaurant (located at 52 W. Illinois St.) will start construction in just a couple of weeks when the current tenant, Ben Pao, closes shop.
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