Rising Star Restaurateur Kevin Boehm of Boka Restaurant Group - Biography

Chicago, IL

August 2014

Growing up in Springfield, Illinois, Kevin Boehm knew he wanted to be in the restaurant business. After dropping out of the 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, Indigo Restaurant, and Six Degrees all followed, and Boehm got his true education opening and selling restaurants all before the age of 30.

In 2002, Boehm partnered with Rob Katz and the two established Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago. Together they have opened 10 restaurants in less than 10 years: Boka (2003), Landmark (2005), Perennial (2008), Girl & the Goat (2010), GT Fish & Oyster (2011), Perennial Virant (2011), Balena (2012), Elaine’s Coffee Call (2012), The J. Parker (2012), and Little Goat (2012), establishing themselves as one of the most prolific chef-driven groups in the country.

Among their many accolades for their many restaurants, Boehm and Katz have received three star reviews, a Michelin star (for Boka), a Bib Gourmand (for Perennial, GT Fish & Oyster, and Girl & the Goat), and a James Beard Nomination for Girl & the Goat in 2011. Along with Katz, Boehm was named a StarChefs.com Rising Star Restaurateur in 2011, and “Restaurateur of the Year” by Time Out Chicago in 2010 and The Chicago Tribune in 2011. Boehm was also a “40 Under 40” in Crains in 2010, passed his introductory Sommelier Exam, and is heavily involved with the Hope Institute, the largest autism network in the United States.