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80-cent beefs for 80 years: Al’s Beef gets Chicago holiday, offers deep discount

The "Regular Al" with sweet peppers is one of the most popular sandwiches at Al's Chicago's #1 Italian Beef. | Sun-Times file

Al’s Beef is turning 80 years old and marking the occasion with a special offer for fans of its famed Italian beef sandwich.

The Chicago food chain, which has its roots in Little Italy where it was first introduced as a beef stand, will be handing out its regular Italian beef sandwich for 80 cents on Thursday, Oct. 18. The day is being touted Al’s Beef Day by a city hall resolution that noted the holiday would pay homage to the restaurant, calling it a “cherished institution” that helped shape “the unique character” of Chicago.

Related: The Grid: Exploring the Little Italy neighborhood

Al’s Beef has certainly attracted national attention to the city. It is repeatedly listed in rankings of the country’s best sandwiches and has been featured on the Food Network and in popular magazine publications.

Its original storefront at 1079 W. Taylor St. remains fully operational. Fans of the so-called “original” Italian beef sandwich can celebrate Al’s Beef’s milestone at the first location, plus its other eight Chicago-area locations. Sandwiches will be available for under a buck from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any additions to the sandwich will cost more.

Video by Brian Rich