One Of Chicago's Oldest Restaurants Helps Out One Of New York's

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 14, 2013 4:40PM

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Geja's on the left, Totonno's on the right. Totonnos photo via Gothamist/missapril1956.

Let's start our week with a heartwarming story. It's always nice to see friends and colleagues help each other out. The restaurant world within Chicago is generally a pretty collegial place (gossip mavens, take note) and appeals for charity rarely go unanswered. But in this case, the appeal came from outside the city.

Totonno's, the oldest continuously operating pizzeria in America, was pretty much trashed by Hurricane Sandy. Our buds at Gothamist covered the whole story—they've got mold, equipment damage, furniture damage and more, all of which will take more than $100,000 to repair. The restaurant still hasn't been able to re-open since the storm.

Geja's Cafe, which at 47 years old is one of Chicago's oldest restaurants, decided to help out. Geja's took $1 from each entree sold in November and December and raised enough money to help Totonno's replace their dough mixer—almost $7000.

The Totonno family was "overjoyed with gratitude and excitement" when the check came. Here's hoping they can fire up that old coal-fired oven and start making culinary history again soon.