“There is no time to hesitate if you want to succeed,” said legendary Chicago restaurateur Alex Dana. As founder of the iconic Rosebud Restaurant Group, Dana has lived and made his career by that philosophy, adding, “You can’t look back if you want to move ahead.” Mr. Dana has been moving ahead for the better part of four decades, expanding the success of his original Rosebud into Chicago’s first major restaurant group and an international household name. Beloved by celebrities, politicians, global leaders, and everyman alike, Dana’s Rosebud Restaurants throughout Chicagoland retain authenticity and high quality and service that has become an industry standard.
That kind of success starts somewhere and begins squarely with Mr. Dana. Dana’s formative years as a youth were spent working at the restaurant his father ran. “That’s where I learned to work a kitchen, trimming meats, working prep, making steaks,” he said, “it was a simple living.” Then, Dana purchased and ran a downtown luncheonette for a few years, honing his business savvy and kitchen skills. After the success of that first venture, Dana opened The Rosebud, on Chicago’s Taylor Street in Little Italy. Slowly but surely, it became renowned for its delicious, authentic Italian cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Soon, it became a phenomenon—a hotspot for local and visiting celebrities.
Mr. Dana has parlayed those early victories into a family of restaurants woven into the very fabric of Chicago. From Carmine’s to Rosebud on Rush, Rosebud Prime to the Rosebud Steakhouse, the Rosebud name has expanded to the suburbs and beyond.