Kevin Boehm

Kevin Boehm

Co-Founder of Boka Restaurant Group   / Twitter@kevinboehmboka

After opening 26 restaurants over the last 25 years, James Beard award-winning restaurateur Kevin Boehm has become one of the nations most successful owner/operators. Kevin, along with his partner Rob Katz have not only built a thriving restaurant group, but have established a culture built on great chefs, inspired design, and enlightened hospitality.

Born in 1970, Kevin grew up in Springfield, Illinois and knew at a young age that he wanted to be in the restaurant business. After working in the industry for just a few years, he saved enough money to open a 6 table restaurant in 1993 called the Lazy Daze Café, in quaint Seaside, Florida. Indigo Wine Bar (Blue Mountain Beach, Fl), Indigo(Springfield, IL.) and Six Degrees (Nashville, TN) would follow, and Boehm got his education opening and selling 4 restaurants all before the age of 30.

In 2002, Boehm would partner with Rob Katz, and the two would open 22 places together in less than 16 years. Their portfolio includes Boka, Balena, GT Fish, GT Prime, Girl and the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, Bellemore, Somerset, Devereaux, Momotaro, The Izakaya, Elaines, & J.Parker. In 2019 the group is opening Girl and the Goat in Los Angeles and 3 concepts inside the Hoxton Chicago.

The Groups many accolades & accomplishments include 12 James Beard Finalist nominations, two Food & Wines Best New Chefs, 8 consecutive Michelin Stars for Boka, 6 Boka Group restaurants in Chicago Tribunes Top 50 list, and a James Beard Win and Iron Chef designation for Stephanie Izard.

Boehm, along with Katz, won Restaurateur of the Year in TimeOut Chicago in 2010, the Chicago Tribune in 2011, and was Eater National’s Empire Builders of the Year in 2012. They have been James Beard Finalists for Best Restaurateur in America in 2016, 2017, & 2018 and New City Chicago ranked them #1 in 2017 in its annual list of the 50 most powerful influencers on the Chicago dining scene. In 2019, Boehm and Katz won the James Beard Award for ‘Outstanding Restaurateur.’

Kevin has been a featured speaker at the National Restaurant Show, MUFSO, Miami Food & Wine, Chicago Gourmet, Asheville Independent Restaurant Show, & The Welcome Conference at Lincoln Center. He has given the commencement address at both Culinary Institute of America & Kendall College. He currently sits on the board of the Illinois Restaurant Association, 826 CHI, and Easter Seals. Boehm lives in downtown Chicago with his wife Cortney, and his three children Sofia, Lola, and Luca.

30 Years in 30 Days: Kevin Boehm (featured on The James Beard Foundation digital series)
Welcome Conference 2018 - “Restoration”