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Local restaurants say no to ‘Mob Wives’ filming

Tony Durpetti owner Gene   Georgetti steakhouse | handout pho| Sun-Times

Tony Durpetti, owner of Gene & Georgetti steakhouse | handout photo | Sun-Times

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Updated: January 9, 2012 8:46AM

T HE SCOOP: SAY NO TO “Mob Wives”: Restaurateur Tony Durpetti, owner of Gene & Georgetti’s steakhouse, recently received a call from the producers of the hit VH1 “Mob Wives” reality show asking if they could use his eatery as one of the locations to film a Chicago spin-off version of the series. According to a letter sent to owners/operators of Chicago-area Italian restaurants by Louis H. Rago, president of the Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago, “Tony not only refused them, but informed them that should they come to the restaurant, he would personally escort them out.”

Rago is sick of the stereotypical and negative images that are promoted through media about Italians and is asking the owners not to participate. “We need more Tony Durpettis in our community,” said Rago. “We need folks who will just stand up and say ‘enough.’ We hope Tony has started a movement long needed in the Italian-American community.”

Thus far, restaurant owners Phil Stefani, Alex Dana and Joey DiBuono are saying they will not participate in the show.

WOW! ! I KNEW that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be put behind bars for a long time after being found guilty on federal corruption charges, but did he deserve 14 years? Did they find a body buried in his basement that we didn’t know about? There are criminals found guilty of murder who have gotten less. He may have underminded public confidence, as Judge James Zagel said, but 14 years? I guess Blago’s arrogance, publicity antics and not eating humble pie during this long judicial process, did him in. He will be singing Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” for sure. Hey, did you know that Zagel was once married to WBBM-Channel 2 top investigative reporter Pam Zekman? It’s so true!

OUR ENERGETIC MAYOR Rahm Emanuel speaking at the prestigious Economic Club of Chicago dinner Dec. 12. at the Hilton Chicago. . . . Channel 7’s Leah Hope emceeing the City Colleges awards dinner Friday at the South Shore Cultural Center.

NOTED AUTHOR Max Allan Collins, best known for his novel Road to Perdition that was turned into a moive starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, was in town to meet with radio giant Mike North at Gibsons restaurant Wednesday. Collins is writing a book on the longtime sports radio host with the hopes of also turning it into a movie. The eatery’s owner, Steve Lombardo, was also interviewed.

CONDOLENCES TO the family of lovely civic/philanthropic leader Beverly Blettner, who succumbed on Monday after a long battle with cancer. . . . Also, to the family of former Chicagoan Wilma Bowman, who passed away after a long illness in California. She will be truly missed by her children, Vera, Rose, James Chitty, and friends.

THE MUSIC SCENE: Hot Smokey Robinson in concert at the Horseshoe Casino’s Venue Friday and the Mannheim Steamroll band at the Venue Dec. 17. . . . Chicago’s Morris Gearring and his one-man Oscar Brown Jr. tribute show “Something About Oscar” at the Jazz Showcase Dec. 12 and 13. . . . Glen Campbell at the Rialto Square in Joliet Jan. 26 and 27.

FACES N’ PLACES: Newly engaged couple Rosie O’Donnell and Michelle Rounds lunched at m. Henry in Andersonville. . . . The Bears’ Jay Cutler dined at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Lincolnshire. . . . Attorney Gloria Allred and her client, Sharon Bialek, who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, had lunch at Gene & Georgetti’s. And at an adjacent table, civic leader Dom DiFrisco. . . . Music exec George Daniels celebrated his birthday with a huge bash at Hard Rock.

AROUND TOWN:Legendary actress/choreographer Carmen DeLavallade Holder, 80, will be feted by the Peninsula Hotel and the DuSable Museum on Dec. 12. . . . Friends are hosting a benefit reception to re-elect Justice P. Scott Neville Jr. Dec. 13 at the Hotel Allegro. . . . The NABJ’s Holiday party is Dec. 13 at the All-Stars Sports Bar. . . . The “Off the Wall” art exhibit at Bucci Studios International Saturday.

BIRTHDAY PEOPLE: Ruth Ratny, Jerry “Iceman” Butler, Bob Love, Erma Davis, Teri Hatcher and belated to retired cop Elliott Mathews Sr., 80. On Friday: Donny Osmond and Dara Lajoy Terry. On Saturday: Rep. Luis Gutierrez and state Sen. Jacqueline Collins. On Sunday: Channel 11’s Elizabeth Brackett, Mike McCaskey and anniversary wishes to Nicholas Fulop and Merri Dee. On Monday: Sam Sianis and to golden sweetie Joe Vilt, 101.

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