Gene & Georgetti was founded in 1941 by Gene Michelotti and his partner Alfredo Federighi, who was nicknamed “Georgetti” after a famous Italian cyclist. Located in the heart of River North, Gene & Georgetti is Chicago’s oldest and one of its finest steakhouses. Partners Gene and “Georgetti” worked hand in hand to establish the reputation of excellence that is continued through today.
Born in the small Tuscan town of Lucca, Italy, Gene Michelotti came to the United States at the age of 15, several years later; he married Ida Passaglia in April of 1938. Though he spoke little to no English upon his arrival, he worked numerous jobs ranging from night watchman, porter, dishwasher, and bartender, where he encountered his future business partner Alfredo “Georgetti” Federighi, who was working as a chef.
Together in 1941, they founded Gene and Georgetti. Alfredo had the kitchen, and Gene was the front man, holding down the bar. His genuine and vivacious personality made him a hit with regulars, politicians and celebrities alike. Upon Alfredo’s death in 1969, Gene became the sole proprietor of Gene & Georgetti, until his death in 1989.
Gene’s daughter Marion married Tony Durpetti in 1969. They have one daughter, Michelle. Upon the death of Gene in 1989, although a CEO of his own national radio advertising firm, Tony and Marion did not want to see the restaurant leave the family, and decided to purchase it from Marion’s mother, Ida Michelotti. Together with a staff that embodies the word family; they work to maintain the tradition that defines this classic institution and proudly bring it into the future.
Legends like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, & Lucille Ball as well as modern-day celebrities like Russell Crowe, Keanu Reeves, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell, along with international, national, and local politicians, have helped make Gene & Georgetti a classic old-time Chicago place to dine. The restaurant proudly boasts a legion of regular customers, some going back more than 50 years.A recipient of the DiRōna award in 2001, (Distinguished Restaurants Of North America) – established in the 1990’s as the only non-profit inspections program in the world to exclusively evaluate fine dining restaurants the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Gene & Georgetti is proud to be the first steakhouse in Chicago to have won this prestigious award.