Our Story

Some Traditions Aren’t Worth Changing

With nearly 50 years of unwavering dedication, Alex Dana’s Rosebud Restaurants have become a cherished destination for those seeking the epitome of classic Italian cuisine.

Join us as we continue to celebrate our rich heritage, weaving together the flavors, aromas, and traditions that have made Rosebud an enduring culinary institution in the heart of Chicago.

A Man Who Needs No Introduction

“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.”

Dana has been moving ahead for nearly 50 years, 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 the everyman alike, all of Dana’s Rosebud Restaurants throughout Chicagoland retain an authenticity and a high level of quality and service that has become an industry standard.

Rosebud’s founder, Alex Dana holding a large plate of food
“Welcome to Rosebud.”
alex dana


Our History


First Restaurant Founder, Alex Dana, Worked in

The Dana Family opened their first Chicago restaurant.

Rosebud Founder, Alex Dana, learned the in’s and out’s of the restaurant industry at a young age while working in his family’s restaurant. The restaurant was a scratch kitchen, meaning everything was made in-house everyday.


Image of first restaurant Alex Dana opened

Alex Dana opens his first restaurant concept.

In 1973, Dana opened his first restaurant on the corner of Washington and Wacker in the heart of Chicago’s Loop neighborhood. Located right across from the Opera House, his business quickly took off as his recipes won the hearts of talent and opera fans alike.


Photo of staff from first restaurant, Rosebud Taylor Street

The Rosebud on Taylor St. opens in Chicago’s Little Italy.

In 1974, Dana began building his first Rosebud location in Chicago’s Little Italy. Originally named Bocciola della Rose (bud of the rose), The Rosebud on Taylor St. officially opened its doors in 1976 and quickly became known for their delicious, authentic, Italian cuisine and as a hot spot for celebrity sightings. Rosebud on Taylor St. is where Rosebud traditions were born nearly 50 years ago and remains open today.


Exterior photo of Rosbeud on Rush

The Rosebud name expands, Rosebud on Rush St. opens its doors.

In 1992 expansion was on Rosebud Founder, Alex Dana’s mind. He took an aging (but beautiful) building located in the old Rush Street entertainment neighborhood, one block from the trendy Michigan Avenue shops and opened the Rosebud on Rush, which became an instant hit with Chicagoans and visiting celebrities alike.


Exterior photo of Carmine's on Rush

Carmine’s Chicago opens in Chicago’s Gold Coast.

In 1995, following the growing (and glowing) success of Rosebud on Rush, Alex Dana opened Carmine’s Clamhouse. This was the first departure from the use of the name Rosebud for a Dana restaurant. Offering two levels of dining, a busy bar, live entertainment and the outdoor cafe in Chicago for people watching, Carmine’s became an instant celebrity in its own right.


Taylor Street & Laflin (Honorary Alex Dana Way) Intersection street sign

Rosebud turns 40, and business is in full bloom!

With a proud history of more than 10 distinctive restaurants, Rosebud reached a remarkable milestone in 2016, celebrating 40 years of serving Chicago. Rosebud’s passion for food and dedication to unparalleled service have propelled them to expand across Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, becoming a household name for those seeking an authentic Italian dining experience. To celebrate 40 successful years of Rosebud, Taylor St., home to the original Rosebud, was named the honorary ‘Alex Dana Way’


Tom Hanks outside of Rosebud

Tom Hanks declares Rosebud’s baked ziti the best he’s had

“I have never had a better baked ziti. You guys have set the bar for all else to follow.”


Rendering of Mia Rosebud, Boca Raton

Rosebud expands to Boca Raton, Florida

Mia Rosebud, Rosebud Restaurants’ first out-of-state location, is slated to open in early 2024. This location will feature 7,700 square ft of interior space as well as a stunning terrace for outdoor dining.


Rendering of Carmine's Chicago Renovation

Carmine’s Chicago Renovation

The $4 million Carmine’s Chicago reconstruction project will begin in early 2024 with the expected reopening to be the following year. The new Carmine’s will measure over 10,000 square feet of dining space and feature an expansive, all-weather, outdoor terrace overlooking Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, stunning dining rooms and multiple bar areas on the first floor entry and terrace. 

Vivi l'aperitivo! Enjoy happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 PM at participating locations with a selection of wine, cocktails, and beer, along with a tantalizing range of mouth-watering food options.

Reservations available at the link in our bio!
Orecchiette, meaning “little ears” in Italian, hails from the southern region of Italy, Puglia in particular. A renowned dish featuring orecchiette is “Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa,” which combines the little ears with bitter greens, garlic and chili. Our orecchiette is a slight riff on the beloved classic, crafted with Italian sausage, broccolini, garlic, and tossed with olive oil. 

Available at all locations!
Our Rosebud Original Square Noodles are as classic as it gets! This dish, with noodles crafted from the delicious “scraps” leftover from ravioli-making, is tossed in an incredible marinara and garnished with basil. Rosebud proudly led the charge in Chicago, introducing these savory “scraps” to the pasta scene and setting a delectable precedent for the city’s culinary landscape. 

We’re happy to share that this OG Chicago recipe has landed a prominent place on our Mia Rosebud menu in Boca Raton! 

For all menu details and to make a reservation, head to the link in our bio.
Let loose and join the party! Happy hour beckons. Join us Monday through Friday, from 3 PM to 6 PM at select locations.
We’re on the brink of unveiling our latest Rosebud addition, @rosebudbocaraton, very soon.

And fear not, chicken parm aficionados, because our beloved classic has secured its spot on the menu at our newest location.

But while you eagerly await the grand opening, indulge your taste buds with a sneak peek into our process. Rest assured, it’s a dedication to top-quality, handcrafted Italian cuisine, as always!
Indulge in the timeless favorite that is our Rigatoni Alla Vodka. As Italian-American as it gets, this dish is believed to have made its debut in the United States in the mid-1970s – coincidentally, right around the time we added it to our menu 😉

Indulge in its rich, creamy, and satisfying flavors – a menu staple that has gracefully stood the test of time.

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