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December 06, 2002 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Insight

Remember
When •

From the pages of the Jewish News for
this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60
years ago.

Suite Success

■ •421.

Restaurateur Larry Levy's company has revolutionized
the sports and entertainment food service industry.

MATT LEE
Special to the Jewish News

R

tracts.
"If you have passion and skill, you're going to be good at
what you're doing. You're going to be successful," says Levy,
home sick from his Chicago office today and waiting for
his mother, Eadie, to bring him her homemade chicken
soup.
Passion, skill and, one might add, a strong entrepreneur-
ial spirit. Born in St. Louis, Levy's own propensity for busi-
ness.was evident from his student days at Northwestern
University in Evanston, Ill.,
where he received his bachelor
of science in 1966 and his
master's in business administra-
tion in 1967.

estaurateur Larry Levy laughs when asked to
dispel a rumor that, in 1982, when he and
brother Mark were initially approached by
Chicago White Sox officials to take on the
catering for Comiskey Park suites, they hesitated.
"We didn't hesitate," he says. "We said, 'No.' It's some-
thing I think of whenever I'm
in a self-deprecating mood.
[The White Sox] were strug-
gling to lease suites and want-
ed us to cater there. We said
`No, we're restaurateurs.' But
they persisted. And they
Campus Power
promised us great seats for the
"In college," he says, "I ran
World Series."
every type of student business
Levy Restaurants' $380 mil-
you can imagine: laundry pick-
lion revenues fcir the fiscal
ups, arranging flights for spring
year 2002 (Levy does the pre-
break and vacation, booking
mium-seat catering and gener-
bands, organizing coupon
al concessions for 30 percent
booklets for Chicago area stu-
of all pro sports venues in the
dents. By the time I graduated,
United States, including
I was making more money
Detroit's new Ford Field) tell
with my student businesses
you that the simple days of
than people I was graduating
beer and brats may indeed be
with were being offered [by
gone forever.
companies]."
Dishes like roasted salmon
Levy says he can only guess
with olive tapenade, roasted
where his drive came from.
garlic thyme aioli and lemon
"My dad was a small-time
garlic and red pepper-basil
entrepreneur. And the people
hummus dip may not be what
he looked up to, the people he
the average American thinks
admired, were the restaurateurs
of when they think of sports
in town, the people who had
food but, as the profits attest,
Larry Levy at his Chicago restaurant Spiaggia.
really made it. Wednesday
Levy's introduction of fine-
through Friday, my parents
dining to premium seat and
would be talking about which
suite holders across the coun-
restaurant they were going to go to that weekend. Then
try has certainly been a hit.
they'd spend Saturday through Tuesday reviewing whichev-
Of course, Levy Sports & Entertainment, the stadium
er one they went to.
and entertainment-venue arm of Levy Restaurants, still
"Studies have recently found that there's a perfect correla-
offers the good old-fashioned, artery-clogging fare that
tion between entrepreneurial success and the need for a
American sports fans demand. Where Levy's involved,
father's approval," he says.
though, everything seems to be done with a little extra
After working in real estate for much of the '70s, Levy
flare:
saw an opening in the Chicago restaurant market for a new
The company's take on such run-of-the-mill concessions
Jewish delicatessen and, with brother Mark (who was
as bratwurst, pizza, nachos and cheesesteaks have received
happy to let Larry buy him out many years and many mil-
rave reviews not only in Detroit, but also across the coun-
lions of dollars later, in 1998) opened their first restaurant,
try at the many stadiums, convention centers and other
entertainment venues where Levy has won concession con-
INSIGHT on page 28

X^.4.

.4

Detroiter Max Fisher has made a
$1 million pledge to the U.S.
Holocaust Memorial Museum set
to open next April in Washington,
D.C.
Congregation Beth Achim in
Southfield appoints Phyllis Strome
as executive director.

Yeshiva University in New York is
given a $3.75 million fund for
scholarships by the Max Stern
Foundation.
Construction of the Holocaust
Memorial Center exterior nears
completion in West Bloomfield.

Two Hadassah doctors serving in
Africa carry out the first corneal
graft performed in the Ivory Coast.
Congregation Beth Abraham-
Hillel of Detroit installs Menasche
Haar as president.

.

A class of nine men and women is
formed by the Jewish Institute for
the Blind in Jerusalem to learn how
to use IBM machines.

T"Nf,

„ AZNEW
More than 400 prominent .
Detroiters attend the 25th anniver-
sary banquet for the North End
Clinic held at the Statler Hotel.
Detroiter Selma Selminsky, 70,
retires as executive director of
Franklin Settlement. Her achieve-
ments include the Golden Age
Club, the city's first for elderly men
and women, and a modern 250-
acre camp in Lake Orion.
. . . .

.............

Rabbi S. Fineberg of Congregation
Beth Israel in Flint is honored at a
banquet for his 10 years of service.
The American Federation of
Polish Jews sends the first 100
packages of food to Jewish prison-
ers in Germany.
— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Leo M Franklin
Archives, Temple Beth El

12/6

2002

27

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