Celli’s Beef dishes up history in Niles
Cook Roberto Medida of Chicago adds peppers to an Italian beef sandwich at Celli's Beef in Niles on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:04AM
NILES — Dominic Celli is happy to continue his family’s tradition of selling tasty, high quality Italian beef sandwiches.
Celli’s father, Emil, owned a beef stand on the Northwest Side of Chicago for 40 years, which is where Dominic first learned the ins and outs of the business when he was a child.
Today, Dominic runs Celli’s Beef at 8080 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Niles. It has been feeding hungry customers in Niles since April 2010.
“It’s been a family business for two generations,” said Celli, who said his family members have owned a couple similar restaurants.
Celli shared what makes his Italian beef sandwiches so special.
“I use the highest cut of meat,” said Celli. “It’s a non-injected product; fresh beef that is cooked daily. I use my own spices to make the juice for the sandwiches and I use my dad’s homemade recipe for the sweet peppers and the hot giardiniera.
Celli added that fresh bread is delivered on a daily basis to the restaurant.
Although Italian beef sandwiches are their signature item, other popular items on the menu are the Italian sausage sandwiches, gyros sandwiches, charcoal broiled hamburgers and hot dogs with fresh cut fries.
The menu offers a wide variety, including salads, chicken and steak burritos, Caesar and Greek chicken wraps, homemade chili, buffalo wings, shrimp basket, pepper and egg sandwich, double Italian sandwich, combo sandwich (beef and sausage), homemade meatball sandwich, Maxwell Street polishes and much more.
Celli said his favorite part of his job is definitely interacting with the customers.
“I have a pretty outgoing, colorful personality, so it’s something that is always portrayed here at Celli’s,” he explained.
“I’m doing what I love to do,” said Celli.
Celli said that the restaurant offers a very casual atmosphere that is conducive to families. The restaurant also offers an outdoor café area.
“It’s a great location, because it’s on Milwaukee Avenue,” said Celli. “It’s a heavily traveled road. “There are a lot of exposure opportunities here.”
Nearby schools and parks help feed customers, he said.
“All these things lead to increased visibility and opportunities for me to gain additional customers,” he added.
Celli said he has quite a few regulars that visit his restaurant. In addition to Dominic, there are two employees at the restaurant.
“They’ve been with me since day one,” said Celli.
Celli’s Beef hosts car shows in their parking lot during the summertime as well.