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Eli’s Supports Gateway Green’s Annual Gala

GTB 2014Eli’s is a proud dessert sponsor of the 23rd annual Green Tie Ball taking place on Saturday, September 13th.  The annual gala is the signature fundraising event for Chicago Gateway Green, which raises funds for Chicago’s Expressway Partnership Program. Chicago Gateway Green developed the Expressway Partnership program in 1999, joining the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and Chicago’s corporate community to transform the city’s expressways into beautifully-landscaped parkways. Distinct from traditional ‘adopt-a-highway’ programs, Chicago Gateway Green develops and maintains sweeping landscapes which feature our sponsors, creating green ribbons of sustainable landscapes weaving throughout the city.

For more information on the Green Tie Ball, visit the event page.

Eli’s President, Marc Schulman, Interviewed by the Illinois Restaurant Association

6987tcw(1)The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) recently had the opportunity to speak with Eli’s Cheesecake owner Marc Schulman about his years in the industry, his favorite moments in the Taste of Chicago history and what’s new with the IRA Centennial restaurant today.

Eli’s Cheesecake is the only vendor to have been involved with the Taste of Chicago since its inception. What is your favorite thing about this annual food festival?
Of course, celebrating our birthday with Eli’s giant 1,000 pound cheesecake! And, spending five days outside in a t-shirt with my fellow restaurateurs…it’s like food camp. I also like meeting our customers and hearing what they have to say about our product.

Is there a one staple item at the Taste (besides your cheesecake of course!) that you have to get every year?
Robinson’s boneless rib sandwich, corn on the cob, watermelon and pizza. It is so much fun to walk down Columbus and Jackson taking in the crowds and deciding what new item (or old favorite) to sample.

Eli’s has been in the food business for over 70 years -any advice for achieving longevity in the restaurant/hospitality business? Biggest reward, biggest challenge?
It is an inspiring story about what can be achieved in the restaurant business! My dad went into the restaurant business accidentally in 1940 when he found his favorite west side (Ogden & Kedzie) coffee shop had gone out of business. Here we are 74 years later with a great history of achievements—first in the restaurant business, and most recently with Eli’s Stage Delicatessen and Eli’s the Place for Steak, and then my Dad introducing his signature Cheesecake at that first Taste of Chicago on July 4, 1980. Without Taste and without restaurant heritage, we would have never had the opportunity to grow into a national leader in supplying cheesecake and desserts to leading restaurants nationally.

What are the most memorable moments in Eli’s history?
Being with my parents, Eli and Esther, and my wife Maureen, at the Ceremony for Chicago’s 150th Birthday Cake at Taste of Chicago in 1987. When Mayor Washington couldn’t attend at the last minute, Bozo stepped in and read the resolution citing my parents for their contribution to Chicago and for creating the very special cake. We had so many friends of my parents in attendance and a huge crowd for the cake cutting so my parents really saw the success of Eli’s Cheesecake.

You’re known for making some giant cheesecakes around town. What are your thoughts on going for the Guinness Record?
At Taste alone, we sold over 5.2 million slices of Eli’s Cheesecake so that has to be a record in itself. The biggest Cheesecake we ever created was for Bill Clinton’s first inaugural in Washington DC in 1993. That Cake weighed over 2,000 lbs. and was red, white and “Bill” in honor of the new President.

What other exciting things does Eli’s have happening this year?
We turned National Cheesecake Day into a week of celebrations from July 30th to August 2nd. We travel around the City in our Cheesecake Mobile bringing slices to the staff and families at Lurie Children’s Hospital (on the former site of Eli’s the Place for Steak) and right across the street at Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground. We also host a Classic Car Show at Eli’s Cheesecake with over 200 entries benefitting the New Horizons Center and have a “Meet the Maker” Day at our Thursday Farmers Market profiling the great local suppliers who make our cheesecakes and desserts so great. We also just introduced Eli’s Vegan Cheesecake with Tofu from Phoenix Bean on the north side of Chicago.


To read the interview on the IRA website, click here.

Eli’s Cheesecake Supports The Happiness Club Benefit

happiness-club-benefit-2014The Happiness Club will be having their annual benefit this Sunday, August 10th, at Park West Theater starting at 5pm. Tickets are $125 and include dinner, dessert and a live performance by The Happiness Club. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 773-308-7019.

The Happiness Club is a group of Chicago kids who are committed to helping their peers by encouraging positive values and social change through original hip hop and pop music and dance. Diverse in age, race and background, The Happiness Club kids sing out against drugs, gangs and violence and say “Yes” to education, tolerance, high self-esteem, helping the environment and better nutrition for kids.

The Happiness Club won the City of Chicago’s Earth Day Video Contest with their entry “So Hot”, written to increase awareness of global warming. “Change the Game” which addresses better nutrition for kids, was featured on the First Lady’s CD Songs for A Healthier America, and the kids performed at the New York kick off event.

Other notable appearances include: The White House Easter Egg Roll, The “Celebration of Music Tour” with renowned conductor, Andre Rieu, the Green Carpet premiere of the film “Carbon Nation” at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Kidzapalooza, the family stage at Lollapalooza.

The Happiness Club is an Illinois not-for-profit 501c3.

For more information, or to contribute, contact Maureen Schulman at (773) 908-6425.


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Eli’s Classic Car Show Celebrating National Cheesecake Day… The Finale!

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57 Chevy classic car

Slice in car at Eli's

Eli’s Big Slice mascot and the Eli’s Mobile

Today we enjoy over 100 Classic Cars at Eli’s Cheesecake World benefiting the New Horizon Center for the Disabled. Free Show.  Free Parking. Featured are the Elis Mobile, Eli’s Big Slice Mascot, grilled lunch, live DJ, free samples and big store sale.   We have the largest selection of Eli’s Cheesecake anywhere!   A perfect end to our five day of festivities celebrating National Cheesecake Day.

Eli’s Cheesecake Day Celebrations!

Eli’s Cheesecake, Chicago’s favorite dessert, and one of Illinois most famous foods, is celebrating National Cheesecake Day with five days of activities.  Eli’s Cheesecake, created by famed restaurateur Eli Schulman as the signature dessert for his legendary Chicago steakhouse, “is a Chicago institution and has become a worldwide ambassador of the City’s Culinary scene” Mayor’s office, City of Chicago.  Eli’s has baked up giant celebratory cheesecakes for such occasions as: both President Clinton and President Obama inauguration celebrations in Washington DC, Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial in Springfield, City of Chicago’s birthday, 50 Years of Funny for the Second City,  and the White Sox World Series, to name a few.

Wednesday, July 30th was the official National Cheesecake Day. Eli’s celebrated by giving away slices of different cheesecakes every hour in the Bakery Cafe. Eli’s Slice also took out the Eli’s Cheesecake Mobile around Chicago to hand-out free cheesecake to the public. Stops included the Jefferson Park CTA Blue Line, Citypark Plaza and Seneca Park/Eli’ M. Schulman Playground.

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Today, Thursday July 31st, Eli’s had a BIG Farmer’s Market celebration! Our usual farmer’s market vendors were joined by Eli’s Artisan Vendors, which included Phoenix Bean, Sill Farms, Barry Callebaut, The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Stahlbush Island Farms and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Customers were able to enjoy a performance by The Happiness Club and two After School Matters Groups.

The celebration continues through Sunday, August 3rd! Don’t miss out on all the fun, music and cheesecake. Visit our event page, or see the schedule below, for more details.


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A Stop at Eli’s on the Far Northwest Side Bike Tour


Forgotten Chicago will be having a Far Northwest Side Bike Tour on Sunday, July 27th. The tour will include a stop at Eli’s where participants will get the chance to hear about our history and sample some cheesecake!

From its beginnings as a genteel rural hamlet in Chicago’s orbit, Norwood Park Township has long served as a destination for city dwellers searching for a more sylvan setting for their home. Our first-ever bicycle tour of Norwood Park and Chicago’s Far Northwest Side will give our guests the first-hand opportunity to see the different trends and ideals that have accompanied the longstanding migration out of the city center.

Covering a wide area, including the former County Insane Asylum at Dunning (helpfully noted in the 1889 map above left) we’ll also look at some interesting examples of retail and industrial architecture that followed as these areas developed, as well as intriguing remnants and structures that predate the area’s integration into Chicagoland’s urban fabric. We will also take a close look at the independent villages of Harwood Heights and Norridge, including the highly successful and recently expanded Harlem Irving Plaza, a neighborhood anchor since 1956 that still features a surprising number of original details, including the former Wieboldt’s store, above right.

Additionally, we will examine a wide array of local landmarks including the 1975 St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church seen at right. Also, the tour will include a stop at Eli’s Cheesecake, where we will hear about their history as a Chicago institution and sample some of their famous product!

For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.



Eli’s Proud to Support the Gene Siskel Film Center

Eli’s Cheesecake was honored to be served at the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Annual Benefit last month. It featured a Candid Conversation with film legend Morgan Freeman (recipient of the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award) and director John Turteltaub.


Eli’s at The Second City All-Star Comedy Benefit

Second City BenefirEli’s is proud to be serving a Big Cheesecake at The Second City’s All-Star Comedy Benefit this Thursday night, July 17th. Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger from The Eli’s Cheesecake Company will be serving the cheesecake to over 200 guests at the Benefit’s after-show cocktail party. This is a special one night fundraising event at The Second City Mainstage Theater (1616 N. Wells St). Performances will be at 7:00p and 10:00p.

The Second City is the world premier sketch and improv comedy theatre. We have been producing some of your favorite comedians for the last 55 years. The All-Star Comedy Benefit is a fundraising effort to benefit Gilda’s Club Chicago as well as The Second City Alumni Fund. 

In addition to being a Second City alumni, Gilda Radner was an incredible person and her legacy continues through the free programs offered to men, women, children, and their families and friends whose lives have been impacted by cancer at Gilda’s Club Chicago.

The Second City Alumni Fund was established by Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara and Andrew Alexander to assist and aid current, former or retired performers, technicians, support staff or other members of the creative and productions teams employed by The Second City theatres and in connection with the SCTV television series.

Gilda’s Club Chicago offers FREE programs for men, women, children, and their families and friends whose lives have been impacted by any kind of cancer. Their mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. To learn more about Gilda’s Chicago Club, click here.

The Second City All-Star Comedy Benefit line-up includes Scott Adsit, Mike Hagerty, T.J. Jagodowski, David Koechner, Susan Messing, Katie Rich and Allison Tolman. They will be joining Aidy Bryant, Jack McBrayer, Tim Meadows, George Wendt, Fred Willard and Steven Yeun. If you would like to attend The Second City’s All-Star Comedy Benefit, tickets can be purchased here.

Eli’s at the Green City Market BBQ


One of the best summer events in Chicago, the Green City Market BBQ grand picnic will be held this Thursday, July 17 in picturesque Lincoln Park, with the fabulous Chicago skyline as a backdrop. This beautiful venue is ideal to showcase some of Chicago’s finest chefs, the who’s who of Chicago’s culinary scene. All dishes served at the BBQ feature items offered from the bounty of the market with nearly 100 chefs and restaurants creating culinary magic. In addition to food, locally made beer, wine and hand-crafted cocktails will be available.

Green City Market is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization celebrating our 16th anniversary.  The mission of Green City Market is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote and connect  farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community.  Green City Market values education about quality food and its source. We value farmers who take care of the land; the preservation of sustainably farmed land; a vibrant thriving community of local farms; and consumption of locally grown foods

Green City Market showcases sustainable practices.  From that first year in 1998 next to the Chicago Theatre to the present time, Green City Market has morphed into Chicago’s most vital farmer’s market that industry leader Alice Waters calls “the best sustainable market in the country.”

Purchase your tickets here, and visit the Eli’s Cheesecake table for a delectable treat! We will be serving a Goats Milk Cheesecake, topped with farm fresh peaches, baked on an almond crust and finished with a crunchy almond streusel.

Eli’s Celebrates 34 Years at the Taste of Chicago

Despite the Taste of Chicago being cancelled on Saturday, Eli’s was back out there Sunday with the Big Cake ready to serve!
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Today is opening day for the Taste of Chicago! In 1980, founder Eli Schulman debuted the now famous Eli’s Cheesecake at the first Taste of Chicago, making Eli’s the only original vendor still participating at Taste.  Eli’s has sold over 5.2 million slices throughout Taste’s history!  Marc Schulman, Eli’s son and company President, credits Taste for launching the dessert and helping take it from a local favorite, to one of the country’s largest specialty cheesecake bakeries, baking over 20,000 cheesecakes and desserts daily at Eli’s Cheesecake World located on Chicago’s northwest side.

Eli’s Cheesecake Booth #16, located at Jackson and Columbus, will feature Eli’s Cheesecake Smoosh:  Cookie Cheesecake made with Oreo® (topped vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce), Turtle Cheesecake, Original Plain (with strawberries), Chocolate Chip Crunch Dipper (frozen chocolate chip cheesecake on a stick, dipped in crunchy dark chocolate) and Taste portions:  mini slices of original plain cheesecake and Eli’s Honey Mediterranean Cheesecake made with honey produced by the students from the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences.

Eli’s is excited to celebrate 34 years with the Taste of Chicago this coming Saturday, July 12th, with a giant 1,000 pound cheesecake. The festivities will begin at 11:30am at the In The Kitchen with Mariano’s Cooking Demo Stage where Eli’s Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger will be talking about our NEW Vegan Cheesecakes and what goes in to making a GIANT cheesecake. The celebration will continue at 1pm at Buckingham Fountain for the Big Cake Cutting with special guests: The cast of Motown the Musical and Jeff & Spencer Tweedy! Enjoy a FREE slice of cheesecake, meet & greet with the Eli’s Slice and more!

For more information on the Taste of Chicago, click here.

Eli's featured on the CBS News with Vince Gerasole

Eli’s featured on the CBS News with Vince Gerasole

Marc and Maureen Schulman help decorate the BIG Cake for Saturday!

Marc and Maureen Schulman help decorate the BIG Cake for Saturday!

Eli's Team at the Taste Booth getting ready for opening day!

Eli’s Team at the Taste Booth getting ready for opening day!