The Eli’s Family Mourns the loss of our Dearest Friend – Bobby Hatoff,
the Chairman of Allen Brothers Meats
Without Bobby Hatoff, there would be no Eli’s!
The dearest friend to Eli, the Schulman Family and the entire Eli’s Family, Bobby started doing business with Eli at Eli’s Stage Delicatessen on Oak Street in the early 1960’s. That business relationship grew dramatically when my parents opened Eli’s the Place for Steak in 1966 on East Chicago Avenue. When he walked through Eli’s the Place for Steak (and so many other top restaurants in Chicago), he always had kind words for the wait and kitchen staff asking about their children by name. He was always the most generous tipper while giving so much more from his heart.
Eli’s was the first of a new generation of steakhouses which have changed the dining experience in America. Bobby was a “secret weapon” for Eli’s and so many restaurants and leading chains around the country. He knew meat so well and how an operator could maximize the customer experience while helping the operator be profitable.
When Eli passed away over 24 years ago, Bobby was there all that day and for every day after that for me. He was my Senior Advisor giving great advice on sales, on management, on life and people. He was never too busy to help. No one was more committed to the success of Eli’s as a Company and my personal success than Bobby. When there were challenges in business, it was time for dinner with Bobby at Filippo’s on Clybourn. By the time the evening was over, I felt much better as Bobby’s advice was always right on and gave me the energy that I needed to meet the challenges of the next day.
Bobby is irreplaceable! We could not have gotten here without him and will commit to always leading our lives with his integrity, optimism and charity. Bobby, we miss you so much!
Marc S. Schulman
The Eli’s Cheesecake Company