CHICAGO – The founder of the Chicago Italian meat shop that inspired FX’s «The Bear,» Joseph Zucchero, has died at 69, his son said.
Mr. Beef, the no-frills sandwich joint on Chicago’s River North, has been a neighborhood staple for decades. But he became a national sensation after he was photographed by the gritty and fast paced show released in June 2022.
Zucchero died unexpectedly March 1 at Rush Medical Center while receiving cancer treatment, said his son, Christopher Zucchero, co-owner of the restaurant. “He was supposed to come home,” he said.
Zucchero said the family is waiting to learn the exact cause of his father’s death.
“He was a magnificent human being. He was charismatic. He loved his restaurant. .. he loved his family, his children,” Zucchero said.
Nothing will be the same at Mr. Beef without his father, Zucchero said.
«There’s going to be a big… void here,» he said. “I’m in shock…we act like he’s still here. This is how we are going to maintain and persevere, is to act as if the corner is about to come around.”
The doors of Mr. Beef remained open after the unexpected death of the elderly Zucchero, his son said.
“We don’t take any time off,” which is what her father would have wanted. For 44 years, “Mr. The meat was always open the hours he said it was open,” Zucchero said.
The only exceptions: when «El Oso» was being filmed, and this Saturday, when his father’s funeral and services will take place.
“He was a tough human being. He was tough, but also fair. He loved everyone,” Zucchero said.
The Italian meat legend was “euphoric” when Christopher Storer, creator of “The Bear” and childhood friend of Christopher Zucchero, centered the show on his store.
“I was very proud of that,” his son said.