After opening 25 successful restaurants over 25 years, James Beard nominated restaurateur Kevin Boehm has become one of the nation’s most successful owner/operators. Kevin, along with partner Rob Katz have not only built a successful restaurant group, but have established a restaurant culture built on great chefs, inspired hospitality, and amazing design.
Born in 1970, Boehm grew up in Springfield, Illinois and knew at a young age he was destined to be in the restaurant business. After dropping out of University of Illinois, he saved enough money as a server to open his first restaurant in 1992, the quaint Lazy Daze Café, in Seaside, Florida. Indigo Wine Bar (Blue Mountain Beach, Florida), Indigo Restaurant (Springfield, Illinois), and Six Degrees (Nashville, Tennessee) followed and Boehm got his education opening and selling restaurants all before the age of 30.
In 2002 Boehm partnered with Rob Katz, and the two would open 20 restaurants together in less than 16 years. Their portfolio includes Boka, Girl and the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, GT Fish, GT Prime, Momotaro, Swift & Sons, Balena, Cold Storage, The J. Parker, Bellemore, Somerset, and Devereaux.
The restaurants and chefs have garnered many accolades, including Michelin stars, James Beard nominations & wins, Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs, and one Iron Chef. Currently Phil Vettel’s Top 50 Restaurants in Chicago includes 7 of Boka Restaurant Group’s spots.
Boehm along with Katz won Restaurateurs of the Year from Time Out Chicago in 2010, the Chicago Tribune in 2011, were named Empire Builders of the Year by Eater National in 2011. They were James Beard semi-finalists for Best Restaurateur in America in 2015, and finalists in 2016 and 2017. Last year, New City ranked Boehm & Katz #1 on its annual list of the 50 most powerful influencers on the Chicago dining scene.