Posts Tagged Eli M. Schulman

Scott Simon of NPR “Weekend Edition Saturday” Names his Favorite Destinations in the World—including the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park

Scott Simon of NPR “Weekend Edition Saturday” Names his Favorite Destinations in the World—including the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park
The highlight of every Saturday morning is listening to Scott Simon on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday. I listen to the first part live on WBEZ Chicago and then go online to hear the second half on NPR affiliates on the west coast.

Scott, a Chicago native, is the son of Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilband. A graduate of Senn High School, Scott is the son of comedian Ernie Simon and step son of Lincoln Historian Ralph Newman.

During our stay in Washington for the inauguration of President Obama, Maureen, Elana and I had the pleasure to attend Scott’s broadcast of “Weekend Edition Saturday.” It was an awesome experience and we took the picture above in the studio.

On March 29th, Scott was interviewed in the Chicago Tribune for the “Celebrity Traveler” column. Scott talked about his travels around the world. Favorite vacation spots, favorite hotels and restaurants..and then his favorites when he travels with his wife Caroline and daughters, Elise and Lina.

“When I’m with my family, we seek out parks and zoos. The Luxembourg Gardens in Paris have pony rides and coffee and crepes under chestnut trees. Chicago’s Millennium Park is dazzling, but the Eli Schulman Playlot in Chicago’s Seneca Park is adorable. London’s Green Park has the best seesaws and the most personable swans. The Vancouver Aquarium manages to be both vast and charming, and as to zoos, our daughters can hail the Great Apes in Lincoln Park Zoo by their names.”

Thanks Scott for placing Eli’s Playground in the same paragraph with Chicago’s Millennium Park, London’s Green Park and Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

With American Girl in Water Tower Place to the north and Prentice Woman’s Hospital and the new home of Chicago’s Children’s Hospital to the south, we certainly have one of the most special locations for children in the world and we want to always have a Playground in Eli’s name to that standard.


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Eli’s Cheesecake and the Students and Staff at the Miguel Juarez Middle School Celebrate Earth Day by sprucing up the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park

It had to be the most beautiful Earth Day–April 22nd–in Chicago History. Continuing a long time annual tradition, the people of Eli’s Cheesecake with the support of the Chicago Park District and Engine Company 98 of the Chicago Fire Department gathered for the annual Spruce-Up of the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park.

What made this year most special and successful was the leadership and hard work of 47 middle school students plus teachers from the Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois, Recently renamed in honor of the late Police Chief in Waukegan, the students at Juarez have a commitment to community service. We thank Barbara Dolinger, Student Advisor, and Ray Arceo, Physical Education Instructor (and husband of Eli’s Erin Arceo) for their support in making this day possible.

We also thank all of the students for helping contribute to the beauty of Streeterville and the Magnificent Mile. These students gave up much of their Saturday and travelled almost 50 miles to help clean up this playground that is used by so many visitors and residents. Several of these young people had recently moved to this country and this was their first visit to the Magnificent Mile. What a great demonstration of character by youth and a great committment of support by their faculty advisors.

For over 100 years, Engine Company 98 has protected the Streeterville Community. We are very grateful of their protection today of our neighborhood and for keeping a watchful eye over Seneca Park and its Eli M, Schulman Playground. Our thanks today to Captain Madden and the men and woman of Engine Company 98 who hosted our breakfast with the students this morning

Engine Company 98 is located just west of the Eli M. Schulman Playground. To the west of the firehouse is Chicago’s historic Water Works and the home of the world famous Lookingglass Theatre.


Our thanks to Eli’s, Sarah Zupancic, Maryanne Gaw, and Donna Carberry for organizing such a successful Earth Day activity. Also to Len Simkowski, Mary Gale, Mark Bouchard and Diana Moles for supporting the students and making sure the Playground will be tip-top for the season.

Our thanks to Eli’s Erin Arceo, and to her husband, Ray Arceo, physical education instructor at Miquel Juarez Middle School, who introduced us to these great kids.

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Eli’s Cheesecake Sponsors Friends of the Parks Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up and Plans Eli’s clean-up of Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground

This year, Earth Day falls on Saturday, April 22nd. Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to increase conciousness of the evironment and our open spaces.

In Chicago, Friends of the Park partners with the Chicago Park District and the Cook County Forest Preserve District to invite concerned citizens to get involved by cleaning public spaces.

At Eli’s, we have been a supporter of Earth Day and Friends of the Parks since 1991 when we helped sponsor a Playground Clean-Up Day to bring families and children to their neighborhood playgrounds to get ready for a summer of fun.

Today the Playground Clean-Up Day is part of Earth Day and Eli’s is supporting Friends of the Parks citywide activities with monetary support.

In addition, Eli’s associates and their families are donating part of the day on Saturday, March 22nd to clean our special place, the Eli M. Schulman Playground and Seneca Park just east of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

We will also have special activities at the Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe at Eli’s Cheesecake World for our guests.

Congratulations to Yomali Mendoza, a 13 year old, at the Helen C. Pierce School in Chicago for her winning T-shirt design for the 2006 Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up Day

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Chicago’s Million Dollar Restaurants–Eli on the cover of Travel Host Magazine in 1981

The cover of Travel Host Magazine in November of 1981 featured six of the leading restauranteurs of the day: Nick Nickolas, Rene Dayan, Nancy Goldberg, Richard Melman, Arnie Morton and my dad, Eli Schulman.


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Thank you Crain’s Chicago Business for naming Eli Schulman to the Schmoozer Hall of Fame

Crain’s Chicago Business has always had a special place in Eli’s heart. One of its first issues had a tribute by Rance Crain to Eli’s Corn Beef Hash. It was later in 1987, right before Taste of Chicago, that Crain’s did the first major business story on Eli’s and the growth of his cheesecake.

Eli’s has also helped Crain’s celebrate special events by creating giant birthday cakes for it 20th and 25th birthdays.

We were therefore very honored when Crain’s ran a Schmoozer Hall of Fame in connection with a story on some of the top greeters in town. The list below is a great representation of Chicago hosts and we are delighted to see our founder, Eli Schulman, included and pictured.

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Eli’s Families Spruce Up Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground.

It was on May 7, 1990 that the Mayor Richard M. Daley and then Governor James R. Thompson dedicated the Eli’ M. Schulman Playground and the reconstructed Seneca Park. That day marked the culmination of a 2 year fund raising campaign to complete the design by landscape architect, Maria Smithburg, and acquire a major sculpture by Debra Butterfield.

Since 1990, we at Eli’s get together one day each Spring and help prepare the Park and Playground for the summer.This year Saturday fell on May 7th, 15 years to the day that we dedicated the Park. Thanks to Chef Michael Tsonton and the staff at Eli’s for the breakast and to our People Manager, Maryanne Gaw, for coodinating the day.

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Marc Schulman Honored to receive the Chicago Foodservice Marketing Club Hall of Fame Award–the same Award received by his father, Eli Schulman in 1988

In April of 1988, my family and associates at Eli’s were honored when my dad, Eli Schulman, received the Hall of Fame Award from the Chicago Foodservice Marketing Club. The former winners, a list of which is reprinted below, is a great list of people committed to promoting the foodservice and restaurant business in Chicagoland and really making a difference in our community, In addition to my dad, it includes industry leaders like Fred Buedel, father of my associate, Mary Beth Jakstys, Arnie Morton and Don Roth.

The highlight of the evening honored my dad was a slide show (this is before Power Point) that we created highlighting his life, career and service to the community. It was a surprise for my dad and really touched the hearts of all in attendance for all that he had done in the restaurant business, the community and in creating his cheesecake. It was one of best things we could have ever done as my dad passed away suddenly one week later on May 7th of 1988. Because of this Award, he knew how much he had accomplished and how much everyone cared.

It is an honor to accept the Hall of Fame Award on behalf of everyone at Eli’s and to know that we are continuing to have an impact on the foodservice industry in Chicago.

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Sculpture of Eli in the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park

Just across the street from Eli’s the Place for Steak is the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park. My involvement with the project started in May of 1988 when my dad passed away. Eli’s many friends in the Streeterville and Michigan Avenue neighborhoold wanted to see him honored in a permanent way. We were then so happy when in October of 1988 that the Chicago Park District designated 1/2 of the one acre Seneca Park to be a playground named for Eli and 1/2 to be a passive park for community enjoyment. The design was that of then Park District landscape architect Maria Smithburg, who had a vision for the Park and its setting in the community.

Below is Eli’s sculpture which tops the monument at the center point of the children’s playground. It would make Eli very happy to see his presence is
keeping our community safer and allowing children to enjoy the outdoors in our magnificent neighborhood.


Here is a photo of Mayor Daley, me and Governor Thompson in front of the sculpture and placque at the Dedication of the Playground on May 7, 1990.

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Eli with LBJ in the White House in 1967

One of my dad’s most memorable experiences came in 1967 when a group of
Chicagons donated funds for a bust of Abraham Lincoln to be displayed at the
Johnson Presidential Library in Austin Texas. My dad is second from the left of
the president with noted Lincoln Historian, Ralph Newman to the left of him.
Other Chicagoans in the group were Federal Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz (a
dear friend of our family) and former Governor Otto Kerner.


This is also a fitting photo with the formal opening of the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield in April. More information on
the Library can be found at

I was fortunate to serve under Governors Thompson and Edgar as a member of
the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates the State of
Illinois’s 60 historic sites, including the Lincoln Library. The sites include
the Cahokia Mounds, the Florence Hotel and Pullman Car Works on the south side
of Chicago, the Dana Thomas House and New Salem.

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A Great Eli’s Encounter–by Eli Himself at Eli’s the Place for Steak

Hi Marc – I saw your invitation on the web site to
e-mail you and wanted to let you know about my experience with Eli.
I was at the steakhouse for my birthday many many
moons ago. There was a man at the next table eating spaghetti. I commented to my
father “Who would eat spaghetti in a steakhouse?” I said that louder than I
thought as unbeknown to me I was heard.
When dessert was offered the restaurant was out of
plain cheesecake. Again my big mouth said “How can the #1 cheesecake maker in
the world be out of the best cheesecake, plain?”
The rest of the party ordered, but me being stubborn declined a
Ten minutes later the “Spaghetti Man” came to the
table with 3 cheesecakes, that man was your Father. He whispered to me that at
times he wanted something other than a steak for dinner. (boy was my face red)
He offered me 3 cheesecakes to take home, try them and he’d call me to see if
any of them were to my liking as he was trying different flavors.
I was amazed when your father called me the next
week. My favorite since that day has been the Heath Bar cake, one that was not
available for sale but was being perfected.
Your father is the most famous Chicagoan I ever
met. Eli’s has been my restaurant of choice every year for my birthday since
that day, except when it was on a Monday. Whenever Eli was there he’d just smile
and giggle at me. I have never made a comment about a diner at the next table
since that day.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for
keeping a Chicago tradition the way I remember it.
S. Renkar

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