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, opens in March 2024. This location features 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. 

Introducing our employee spotlight series: Rosebud Buddies! 

Meet Tony: 40 years ago he joined the team at Taylor St. as a busboy where he worked his way to a food runner and finally a server. Fun fact, Mr. Dana helped Tony with the process of buying his first home! He is forever grateful for the support Mr. Dana gave him to buy his first family dream home. Tony encourages you to try some of his favorite Rosebud dishes including the Chicken Vesuvio, Pork Chop Calabrese, and Seafood Salad. Thank you for being part of the Rosebud family, Tony!

Make your way to Rosebud Lemont to be served by the best!
If you catch yourself in the Boca Raton area this week, think about spending some time at @rosebudbocaraton. ☀️

Your reservation is waiting for you at the link in our bio.
Meet Mia Rosebud, the newest addition to the Rosebud Family in sunny Boca Raton, FL. ☀️ 

Add @rosebudbocaraton to your dinner plans tonight.
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