Buona Beef in Countryside
Popular area chain opens 25th location in suburb
By Steve Metsch
The people who run Buona Beef have had their eyes on Countryside for years.
And folks in Countryside, La Grange and other towns nearby now have their eyes on Buona Beef’s menu.
The popular Italian beef chain that started 40 years in Berwyn opened its newest and 25th location in Countryside at the southwest corner of Plainfield and La Grange roads on June 1.
It proved so popular, traffic for the drive-thru was briefly backed up onto Plainfield Road the opening day, a worker said.
“It’s been on our radar a while,” Dominic Fallara, Buona Beef’s director of operations, said of Countryside. “It’s a great location.”
A Boston Market had been on the site over the past 20-plus years, along with an Einstein’s Bagels and other businesses.
But Boston Market left a few years ago, creating the vacancy. That’s when Buona Beef took notice of “a prime spot,” Fallara said.
Fallara said Countryside city officials “were awesome and a pleasure to deal with.”
“They wanted to work with us, to make us get into the community,” Fallara said.
Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott said “we’re very excited about them coming to town.”
“It’s a great establishment and a wonderful addition to our other restaurants and retail vendors in the area,” he said.
Countryside had talks with Buona Beef several years ago, but nothing resulted until the location opened up.
The restaurant has 80 employees, Fallara said.
“That’s typical for an opening,” Fallara said. “Based on sales levels, we’ll go from there. We try to hire local people and try to reach out to the (area) high schools.”
Countryside was attractive because Buona Beef already has locations in Hillside to the north and Orland Park to the south, he said.
“It’s a perfect fit for us,” Fallara said.
Since it began in Berwyn 40 years ago, Buona Beef “still uses the original recipe.”
Residents were “extremely excited,” McDermott said, and have eagerly anticipated ordering food there.
There has been a steady stream of customers so far, employee Timothy Sharperson, of Broadview, said.
Sharperson was standing near the drive-thru entrance, handing out menus to customers in cars and on foot.
“It was really busy here the first day, and at 10 o’clock this morning when we opened,” Sharperson said around 1:30 p.m. June 2.