Jerrod and R.J. Melman [Photo: Nightclub & Bar]/Bill and Giuliana Rancic [Photo: NJ.com]
While there was speculation the it may be called Mama DePandi's, it looks like the new restaurant by R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, Bill and Giuliana Rancic and chef Doug Psaltis will pay homage to the team instead of, well, a mom. The new venture, going into the former Ben Pao space, will be called RPM Italian, taking the first initial of each last name involved.
Earlier today, Giuliana Rancic revealed the name to E! Online, where she is a host on E! News. She said that while her mother's recipes are definitely helping inspire some of the menu items and a few of her signature dishes will appear on the menu, they felt calling it Mama DePandi's was a little outdated. "As we got further into the planning for the restaurant, we realized that the name Mama DePandi's felt more Old World Italian," she told E!. "This restaurant is anything but."
Expect to see the Rancics, along with Mama DePandi, visiting the 10,000 square-foot restaurant often and Giuliana, who is recovering from a double mastectomy, has been designing the staff uniforms and plans on being at the opening. As for when that is happening, the E! article said "next month," and a rep for the restaurant said "late January."
· Melmans Partnering with Rancics on New Italian Restaurant [~EChi~]
· Giuliana and Bill Rancic Unveil Name of Their New Chicago Restaurant—and It's... [E! Online]