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Bello Tea Owner Enjoyed 'Mob Wives Chicago' Filming Experience

Owner Tammy Reddy said the experience was positive and fun.

When owner Tammy Reddy exchanged emails with producers connected to a TV project about filming a scene , she didn't know what the show was called or about. She knew it was a pilot for a possible Vh1 show, but beyond that, she had no clue. She signed a release agreeing not to talk about the show she didn't know anything about, and a scene was filmed. All told, the filmmakers were in-and-out of her store in about a hour-and-a-half.

The show ended up being 'Mob Wives Chicago', and the series premiered last weekend on Vh1 with . Reddy, who was later told in April what the show was and when it would air, watched the episode in her hotel while on vacation last week.

Reddy remembers the filming experience with nothing but positivity, even though the scene featuring Bello—which is of two of the show's characters talking over tea—wasn't the most exciting scene.

“It was a lot of fun, and the crew is very professional,” Reddy said.

In the scene, Bello Tea looks empty except for the two women and one other guy reading, but Reddy said there were other customers coming in while they were filming. It was a slow day, though, because of the snow. Reddy added the scene was shot during regular store hours and the filmmakers made no demands of Reddy or the store, though she tried to be quiet while they were there.

“We tried to stay out of their way,” Reddy said. “They had mics all over that would pick us up if talked a lot so we tried to be discrete.”

Reddy said the crew returned weeks later while they were filming at other locations, but it wasn't to film—they wanted to buy more of her drinks. And since there was no compensation involved for allowing them to film, she welcomed the business. One of the other locations the show filmed at was , which found its way into the second episode which aired on Sunday. Though full-video of the second episode isn't yet on Vh1's website, the show airs pretty frequently, so it shouldn't be hard to find.

Tony Cesare June 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I had mixed feelings reading this. I realize its entertainment but the 'Mob' stereotype is offensive to some Italian Americans, including this one, and I have family members that have been instrumental in boycotting businesses that support the show. By the same token I love Bello Tea and hope the exposure increases business, I just wish it were a different show. Couldn't they be featured on an episode of Mad Men instead??
Dominic Polito June 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM
The sterotype has been going on for decades. Every ethinicity has a sterotype they deal with. Get over it already it's old news that you feel offended. How instrumental were they ? I'am sure whatever they did made a big difference LOL !
Tony Cesare June 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
@Dom- I re read my post and thought I was pretty fair to both the business and the issue (as I perceive it) so I'm not sure what exactly I need to 'get over'. As a fellow paisano I would think you would at the very least understand why some of us might feel this way. Absolutely nothing against Bello, but there are allot of Italian American restauranteurs in Chicago (Phil Stefani, Joey DiBuono..) who have banned 'Mob Wives' from filming in they're restaurants, and my Uncle Louis Rago (Italian-American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago) has been passionate about not allowing this stereotype to continue. Trust me when I tell you that if there were a television show about Irish families fighting and falling over drunk or a African American family flashing 'bling' and visiting family members in prison, there would be an uproar. As a side note, you seem to go out of your way to take (weak, so very weak) shots at anything I write. Why don't you send me an email and tell me why, I'd love to know. I really would.
Robert Bykowski June 20, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Tony, I'm curious: Did you feel the same way about The Sopranos or other non-"reality" shows/movies (Goodfellas, etc...)? Also, there are assuredly other reality tv shows that project a certain type of stereotype for all ethnicities at this point.
Tony Cesare June 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Robert- Great points, but if there are reality tv shows that project a certain type of stereotype, particularly when it comes to ethnicity, I'm not aware of them. Then again, the closest I get to reality TV is "Deadliest Catch" and "Pawn Stars". As far as movies go, I'm willing to concede since they are fiction, not reality. Also, there have been some terrific movies that, in my opinion, represent Italian Americans in a way that most can relate to. "Moonstruck" definitely comes to mind!
Robert Bykowski June 20, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I don't watch a ton of reality tv, but I do watch some (i love jersey shore and my big fat gypsy wedding), and I'd venture to say "most" reality-tv shows are perpetuating a stereotype, whether it's ethnic, gender, societal or whatever. That's not to say it's a good thing, i'm just saying I don't feel the "genre" specifically targets italian americans.
Beth Staley June 21, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I think it is great for Tammy and Bello Tea to be included on the episode, regardless of the show. I think all the "reality" shows are a very distorted reality and don't pay much attention to them. Bello has great drinks (Pina Colado smoothie being my current favorite) and a friendly store.
Robert Bykowski June 21, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Absolutely, Beth. Big fan of Bello Tea.
Patricia June 21, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Guess you have not watched Boardwalk Empire, Tony? I find it amusing that you do enjoy a show (Mad Men) that objectifies women and and features men behaving badly.
Tony Cesare June 21, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Both Boardwalk and Mad Men are fiction, Mob Wives is supposedly 'reality'-albeit distorted. There is a difference. Also 'Jersey Shore' (more alleged reality) isn't doing much for Italian American pride either. On a side note, 'Mad Men' may be fiction, but I promise you that its reasonably accurate in its depiction of men and women in advertising circa 1965. You may not like it, but it happened.
Beverly Nykiel June 22, 2012 at 04:34 AM
I just wish a more community minded business would have been the recipient of the publicity.
Kathy bocj June 25, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Omg those girls r embarrassing. Did they tell on anyone? Start a fight? They do not represent anyone from Chicago. How Sad

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