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RIP Burt Katz

RIP Burt Katz
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  • RIP Burt Katz

    Post #1 - May 1st, 2016, 10:47 am
    Post #1 - May 1st, 2016, 10:47 am Post #1 - May 1st, 2016, 10:47 am
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html
  • Post #2 - May 1st, 2016, 11:15 am
    Post #2 - May 1st, 2016, 11:15 am Post #2 - May 1st, 2016, 11:15 am
    I was Burt's neighbor for 15 years in the '80's & '90's but had known him since high school in the early 1970's when we'd sneak beer into Pequod to drink with his even-then great pizza. One night when we misbehaved, he demonstratively threw us out of his restaurant, but one of my friends had taken off his shoes while dining. Burt threw those out the door after us. But we were back the next week, albeit a lot quieter.

    At Starback, then Burt's Place, Burt developed his business model his own way, obviously. Before the Saveur article and Bourdain and the rest, it was a warm, cozy place my wife & I could take our young daughters as a quiet respite from the rest of the world. Occasionally he'd have folk entertainment during the summer on the adjacent overgrown outdoor patio, and in its own way those nights were magic. No publicity yet, just some friends eating good pizza, drinking beer, playing music and shooting the bull, Burt and Sharon right in the middle of it.

    Then things changed--Burt became in vogue. And I am not so sure that he enjoyed all the notoriety, as he wasn't the most patient of men at times. However, I certainly enjoyed his company, as he was well-read on any number of subjects, a great conversationalist and he & Sharon raised three great kids to boot. But even as his popularity rose, his pizza stayed the same, made the same way. That was his calling card.

    RIP buddy, you were one of a kind. Condolences to Sharon, Adam, Ean & Andi.
    Last edited by jnm123 on May 1st, 2016, 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - May 1st, 2016, 11:29 am
    Post #3 - May 1st, 2016, 11:29 am Post #3 - May 1st, 2016, 11:29 am
    From the first time we went into Burt's ten years ago, Burt and Sharon became more like friends than just restaurant owners. We enjoyed our many conversations with them over pizza. We miss you Burt. ~Ann and Alan
  • Post #4 - May 1st, 2016, 2:52 pm
    Post #4 - May 1st, 2016, 2:52 pm Post #4 - May 1st, 2016, 2:52 pm
    Really sorry to hear this. But kudos to a man that was able to do it his way for most of his life. Condolences to his wife and family.
  • Post #5 - May 2nd, 2016, 7:51 am
    Post #5 - May 2nd, 2016, 7:51 am Post #5 - May 2nd, 2016, 7:51 am
    Beautiful obit by Louisa Chu in today's trib. Featured on the front page of the paper plus the obit section.

    He was a lot more than just an iconoclastic pizza slinger.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - May 2nd, 2016, 8:10 am
    Post #6 - May 2nd, 2016, 8:10 am Post #6 - May 2nd, 2016, 8:10 am
    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicag ... =179850887
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #7 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:04 pm
    Post #7 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:04 pm Post #7 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:04 pm
    As many here on LTHForum know, Burt Katz was my employer, my friend, and a member of our extended family for 43 years. Everyone in the Roadhouse family will miss him greatly.

    Burt was the subject of dozens of pieces in print, radio, and television. I came across this video after the announcement of his death.

    https://munchies.vice.com/en/articles/farewell-to-burt-katz-chicagos-legendary-pizza-maker

    It was shot sometime after he decided not to reopen, but before his health fell into rapid decline. Of all the features done on him, I think this one is the most personal representation of who he was. It has become my favorite.

    NOTE: The segment showing a pizza being made was most likely shot at Pequod's Pizzeria, the establishment Burt founded in 1971 and sold in '86. He was not making pizzas himself when this piece was recorded.

    Buddy
  • Post #8 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:34 pm
    Post #8 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:34 pm Post #8 - May 3rd, 2016, 8:34 pm
    That is a very nice piece. Burt seemed very relaxed and happy.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - May 4th, 2016, 5:08 am
    Post #9 - May 4th, 2016, 5:08 am Post #9 - May 4th, 2016, 5:08 am
    Agreed, Steve. Burt was always quick to laugh, especially when pointing out the satirical & ironic sides of the human existence. And he saw a lot of it. Thanks, Buddy, for the link--it was special.

    His memorial service yesterday had many moments of chuckles, thanks to Rabbi Schechter and his amusing, British-laced delivery. Good to finally meet Ms. Chu, who wrote the lovely Tribune article after Burt's passing, link at the top of thread.
  • Post #10 - May 6th, 2016, 10:50 am
    Post #10 - May 6th, 2016, 10:50 am Post #10 - May 6th, 2016, 10:50 am
    I'm sad I was never able to make it out to Burt's. I should have. I've been here 11 years in the city. It should have been a priority but there's such a laundry list of great places everyone says you should go, as well as my love of cooking keeping us at home most nights. I've been to Pequod's and I love it. I wonder if he ever sold the place like he said, or if his wife might sell it with the recipes.
  • Post #11 - August 31st, 2016, 4:00 pm
    Post #11 - August 31st, 2016, 4:00 pm Post #11 - August 31st, 2016, 4:00 pm
    Burt's is re-opening in Sept! :)
  • Post #12 - September 1st, 2016, 2:03 pm
    Post #12 - September 1st, 2016, 2:03 pm Post #12 - September 1st, 2016, 2:03 pm
    Chitown B wrote:Burt's is re-opening in Sept! :)

    Is it open yet? :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #13 - September 1st, 2016, 2:54 pm
    Post #13 - September 1st, 2016, 2:54 pm Post #13 - September 1st, 2016, 2:54 pm
    No. As stated previously, in another thread, the age of the building has created some unexpected challenges. John and Jerry are investing the time and money to make sure things are done right. As such, rehabbing is taking longer than expected.

    I don't know where the September date came from, and since it is only the first of the month that's still a possibility, but early October seems more likely. Not to worry LTHers, when the time comes for the reopening, you will be among the first to know.

    Buddy
  • Post #14 - September 1st, 2016, 3:01 pm
    Post #14 - September 1st, 2016, 3:01 pm Post #14 - September 1st, 2016, 3:01 pm
    Thanks Buddy.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #15 - September 1st, 2016, 3:15 pm
    Post #15 - September 1st, 2016, 3:15 pm Post #15 - September 1st, 2016, 3:15 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:LTHers, when the time comes for the reopening, you will be among the first to know.

    Buddy

    An LTH dinner for one of the first days?
  • Post #16 - September 1st, 2016, 3:34 pm
    Post #16 - September 1st, 2016, 3:34 pm Post #16 - September 1st, 2016, 3:34 pm
    Too early to make a firm announcement, but that has been discussed.

    Just a thought; these issues might be better discussed in one of the threads pertaining to Burt's business. Let this thread be about the man. No offense taken by any of this, just wanting to keep a neat and tidy internet with everything in its proper place. Is that too much to ask?

    Buddy
  • Post #17 - September 10th, 2016, 10:00 am
    Post #17 - September 10th, 2016, 10:00 am Post #17 - September 10th, 2016, 10:00 am
    Never got to Burt's Place, but I'd like to give it a try once it reopens. Hope this place won't continue to have that weird rule that you had to call in advance to place an order, whenever they finally reopen.
  • Post #18 - September 11th, 2016, 3:43 pm
    Post #18 - September 11th, 2016, 3:43 pm Post #18 - September 11th, 2016, 3:43 pm
    That wasn't their "rule", per se.

    viewtopic.php?p=512303#p512303

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