Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ Fuels Demand for Chicago’s Italian Beef Sandwich

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The show has also spurred instant demand for the delectably sloppy Italian beef sandwiches at the center of the plot’s chaos. Search interest on Google, according to Google Trends, nearly doubled after the show was released on Hulu on June 23, and Chicago-style restaurants across the country are feeling the effects in person.

Mike Klaersch, the owner of the Pizza Man, a mom-and-pop Chicago joint outside Kansas City, Kan., noticed customers piling in for the sandwiches. The restaurant, he said, sold five to six times as many as it did in June.

Jarret Kerr, an owner of Dog Day Afternoon, a Chicago Italian beef and hot dog restaurant in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, said he had seen at least a 50 percent increase in orders of hot Italian beef sandwiches — at $15, the most expensive item on the menu — since the show debuted. The cramped shop used to sell up to a dozen a day; the staff is now slinging 30 or more a day and selling out daily.

“It’s been a godsend,” Mr. Kerr said. “Now every day we say, well, thank you to ‘The Bear,’ thank you to ‘The Bear.’”

The shop was name-checked last month on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” when Mr. Meyers and the actor Mr. White, who stars as Carmy in the series, took bites of its Italian beef sandwich. (A “Late Night” intern snagged the last two sandwiches before the shop sold out for the day, Mr. Kerr said.)

Goldbelly, an e-commerce company that delivers specialties like lobster rolls and gumbo from restaurants around the country, has seen a 30 percent increase in sales of Italian beef sandwiches since “The Bear” premiered, a spokeswoman for the company said. (That number could soon rise with the recent addition of the Chicago staple Al’s Beef to the site.)

According to Chicagoans, a true Italian beef relies on a consistent, harmonious formula of roast beef and hot giardiniera, all atop — this is important — a Turano Baking Company French roll. Roasted peppers, for a touch of sweetness, are…