James Beard nominated restaurateur Rob Katz, one of America's most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, is the co-founder behind the Boka Restaurant Group, which operates Boka, Balena, Perennial, Girl & the Goat, Boka Catering Group, GT Fish & Oyster, Elaine's Coffee Call, The J. Parker Lounge and Little Goat. Over the last 20 years, Katz has owned and operated 14 successful, establishments, the first of which were pioneering music establishments in Lincoln Park.
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Katz moved to Chicago in 1987 to work at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, one of the world's busiest trading pits, but quickly became involved in the bar and nightclub business. He opened 4 highly successful bars and nightclubs in the 1990's, including Elbo Room, Katacomb, and Waterloo. In 2003, Katz partnered with Kevin Boehm and opened Boka, the first of nine restaurants they would open in Chicago. The company has now grown to almost 1000 employees.
The groups' many accolades include "3 stars" for Boka, Perennial, Girl & the Goat, GT Fish & Oyster, Perennial Virant, and Balena from the Chicago Tribune. A Michelin Star 2011, 2012, and 2013 for Boka. A Bib Gourmand for Perennial, GT Fish & Oyster, and Girl & the Goat 2012. "Food and Wine's Best New Chef's" for Boka's Giuseppe Tentori, Perennial Virant's Paul Virant, and Girl & the Goat's Stephanie Izard. "50 Best New Restaurants in America," for Perennial in Travel and Leisure. Restaurant of the Year for Girl & the Goat in Chicago Tribune, Metromix, and Eater, and "National Chef of the Year" at the Eater Awards in New York. Finally, a James Beard nomination for Girl and the Goat for Best New Restaurant in 2011.
Boehm and Katz also won Restaurateurs of the Year from Time Out Chicago in 2010 and the Chicago Tribune in 2011.
Rob lives in Roscoe Village with his wife Kathleen and their two children, Jamieson and Shelby, who provide a constant source of entertainment and inspiration.