Rosebud Restaurants, the nearly half-century old local Italian restaurant chain, unveiled a new flagship location in Prudential Plaza earlier this month. The new restaurant will be the brand’s ninth, but the three-level structure on Randolph Street, which includes an enclosed rooftop that overlooks Millennium Park, is taking a fresh approach: each floor features a different styles of dining, Italian Village-style, inspired by various Rosebud outposts.
Dubbed Rosebud Randolph, the new restaurant has taken over the former home of Tavern at the Park, which closed in March 2020 after a dozen years just east of the bustling, tourist-laden intersection of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street. Rosebud’s designers have stripped the space of its moody aesthetic, replacing the mottled marble bar and dark paneling with spacious white upholstered booths and light wood. Huge windows running along the walls fill the dining rooms with light, bringing an airy feel to the space.
In an effort to appeal to both tourist and regular denizens of downtown, Rosebud Randolph has created a different atmosphere on each floor: the ground-level space is casual and family-friendly, while the second floor caters to those in search of a quieter, more upscale environment. Both, however, share the same extensive menu that features generous portions of Italian-American favorites like crispy veal Milanese and spaghetti primavera, plus prime steaks and barbecue baby back ribs.
The restaurant’s glass-enclosed rooftop is not yet open, but it will feature a different, lighter menu, plus specialty cocktails. It’s slated to start serving before St. Patrick’s Day in March 2022.
Founded in 1976 in the Little Italy neighborhood by restaurateur Alex Dana, the original Rosebud on Taylor Street has since grown into a local red sauce empire that includes Carmine’s in Gold Coast, Rosebud on Rush in River North, and Rosebud Prime in the Loop, plus multiple suburban outposts.
The chain has also been on the receiving end of multiple lawsuits during its 45-year history, facing allegations ranging from racism and sexual harassment to ageism. Most recently, the chain reached a $1.9 million settlement in a 2019 class-action lawsuit that alleged racially discriminatory hiring practices.
Rosebud’s arrival is seen as a victory for Sterling Bay, the Chicago development giant that in 2018 bought Prudential Plaza for $680 million (and is also behind the $6 billion Lincoln Yards development along the Chicago River). The flagship restaurant puts a fresh face on the complex and helps encourage office workers to stick around the building, the director of leasing, Jessica Brown, told the Tribune last year.
Explore Rosebud Randolph and its menu in the photographs below.
Rosebud Randolph, 130 E. Randolph Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.