May 20, 2013
Brothers Open Beach Eatery

Brothers Abe and Levi Chayo have opened Redondo Beach, California's first Kosher eatery, offering dairy and vegetarian dishes.

By Menachem Posner - Chabad.org

When Rabbi Yossi and Shterna Mintz opened their fledgling Chabad center in Redondo Beach, Calif., people told them it was a lost cause, saying that no Jews lived there.

Seventeen years later, with a new kosher restaurant under construction and Hebrew day school on the horizon, the community has grown and developed beyond their wildest imagination.

The restaurant, slated to open in July, is the brainchild of two brothers, Abe and Levi Chayo.

“My brother lives in Redondo Beach and works in Torrance,” a nearby business district, says Levi Chayo. “I was living in New York at the time, and he told me that there are many Jewish people in his area who keep kosher, and they could really use a kosher restaurant. I decided to go for it.”

But the 21-year-old had no experience in the business and knew he would need to beef up his hospitality know-how before opening up his own place. After working in a number of Brooklyn restaurants for several months, he felt ready to take the plunge.

So Chayo flew to Torrance and started planning. “Even though there are a fair number of kosher businesspeople and families in the area, we are working on making food so memorable that we will be able to compete with the non-kosher restaurants as well. We plan on baking all of our own bread and pizza dough in-house, and will be importing exclusive chalav Yisrael cheeses from the East Coast,” he said, referring to dairy products produced under the constant eye of a religious supervisor to ensure that kosher standards have been maintained throughout the production process.

The restaurant, to be named Chayo Eatery, will offer dairy and vegetarian dishes.

Shmuli Pinson, CTO at a nearby high-tech firm, says “it will be nice to have a kosher place to go for lunch meetings or even just to grab a quick bite during the work day.”

Mintz, who co-directs Chabad of the Beach Cities (Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach),explains that although the restaurant is a private venture, it dovetails with Chabad’s mandate to encourage more Torah awareness and observance.

Keeping kosher is a crucial step

At a public gathering in the summer of 1975, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, urged those present to encourage and facilitate observance of the kosher dietary laws, as part of his 10-point mitzvah campaign. The Rebbe explained that keeping kosher a crucial step toward living a Torah lifestyle; whatever a person eats has an effect on his or her thoughts, emotions and outlook, he said. At that time, the Rebbe offered to pay half of the expenses incurred during the koshering process, whereby a kitchen is purged from any unkosher traces and dedicated for exclusive kosher use.

Mintz says having a restaurant to recommend will make it much easier for him to guide people to kosher observance: “I can now tell people that if you can have a kosher lunch delivered, why would you eat unkosher?”

Chip Herwegh echoes that point. “Until now, there really were no options other than preparing and eating everything at home,” he says. “We have been talking about this for years. Having a kosher restaurant right here is going to make it much simpler for me to go kosher. This is a very important step in community-building.”

A native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Herwegh first became acquainted with the Chabad center when he married a Jewish woman. As the family became more involved in Judaism and their three children enrolled in the Chabad Hebrew school, Herwegh underwent conversion. He chose the Hebrew name Gavriel Noach, after Rabbi Gabi Holtzberg, director of the Chabad house in Mumbai, India, who was murdered in the November 2008 terror attacks there, along with his wife, Rivkah, and four guests.

“Gabi was out there spreading light, and I hope to be able to do a little bit of that as well,” says Herwegh, one of the principal organizers and funders of the restaurant.

Mintz sees the new establishment as a real milestone.

“Over the years, our community center in Redondo Beach has expanded to include three rabbis and 56 other employees,” he explains. “Our center offers a mikveh ritual bath, a synagogue where hundreds pray regularly, a preschool with an enrollment of over 140. Our satellite center in Manhattan Beach has a Judaica store and a full array of Chabad activities from Torah classes to clubs for seniors and toddlers.

“Yet having a kosher restaurant in Torrance is something that we could have never imagined.”

Levi Gelb, an entrepreneur-writer who grew up in the area, says: “When I was young, we had a little congregation in a storefront, and we would drive to L.A. to have anything Jewish. The fact that our community can support a kosher eatery tells me that the area has really come a long way. There are a lot of young families, and people are moving in. It is becoming a real community.”



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Opinions and Comments
1
GO LEVI CHAYO!
COngrats! so proud!
(5/20/2013 11:38:57 AM)
2
Joe
Congrats Levi youngest restauranter ever... H'tzlacha...
(5/20/2013 11:53:14 AM)
3
Levi Chayo!!
Great job making our community a great one!
(5/20/2013 12:19:22 PM)
4
Go Chayo's
Can wait to come check it out
(5/20/2013 12:33:55 PM)
5
go levi chayo cant wait to visit
(5/20/2013 12:37:49 PM)
6
Redondo!!
Home sweet Home! Miss that place
(5/20/2013 12:38:52 PM)
7
Mendy Chayo good work!
(5/20/2013 1:07:56 PM)
8
Honest Abe
Way to go.....looks like your putting to use waht you learned at W&L............

Hatzloch rabbo,
CH
(5/20/2013 1:09:35 PM)
9
Smicha L.A
Go Levi Chayo!!!
(5/20/2013 1:16:08 PM)
10
go levi!!!
Its the place to be for lunch....can't wait!!!
(5/20/2013 1:21:26 PM)
11
Mazal Tov
Nice pick Chayo says it all,a ch neighbor
(5/20/2013 1:34:14 PM)
12
very cool
about time a good place yo eat on our side of town
(5/20/2013 1:54:32 PM)
13
The rebbe is proud!!
moshiach now!
(5/20/2013 2:59:34 PM)
14
ZO!!
Yo cant wait to go for a day at the beach!!!!!
(5/20/2013 3:00:20 PM)
15
#14
LIKE!
(5/20/2013 3:11:36 PM)
16
...
GO TORRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(5/20/2013 4:08:03 PM)
17
Number 14
Who are you?
(5/20/2013 4:33:14 PM)
18
I love redondo
It's great to have a kosher place
(5/20/2013 4:34:55 PM)
19
hatzlacha rabba!
(5/20/2013 4:50:09 PM)
20
NAme
Drop the word "eatery" and the name sounds so much classier. Seriously. "Where you going for lunch?" "Oh, I'm heading to Chayo with my friends"
(5/20/2013 5:24:45 PM)
21
Keep it real boss!!
Go Abe!
(5/20/2013 5:54:28 PM)
22
Like a boss!!
Meaning "like a Chayo!"
(5/20/2013 5:55:49 PM)
23
Classmate
Can't waite to check out the restaurant!!
(5/20/2013 6:11:51 PM)
24
cant wait to go
can't wait to go and eat there
(5/20/2013 6:36:04 PM)
25
dont forget to LIKE there page on facebook!!!!!!!
(5/20/2013 6:37:27 PM)
26
Whoo hoo
Go Levi chayo
(5/20/2013 7:16:59 PM)
27
cmg
woohoo!!!! cant wait!!
(5/20/2013 8:36:36 PM)
28
broje vehasloje
muchisima suerte.tio ieuda
(5/20/2013 9:08:51 PM)
29
Awesome!
Can't wait to check it out on my next trip...
Hatzlacha Rabba
R.O
(5/20/2013 10:15:13 PM)
30
To #20
Call it what you want.... When ppl go to Starbucks do they say "I'm going to Starbucks coffee"? Or they just say "Starbucks"

-A wise man
(5/20/2013 11:22:05 PM)
31
Abe & Levi
Good job!!
(5/21/2013 12:17:18 AM)
32
Charlie
great job with the social media!

(5/21/2013 12:59:11 AM)
33
Check em out on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/YUM.CHAYO
(5/21/2013 1:00:36 AM)
34
Like
www.facebook.com/yum.chayo
(5/21/2013 1:15:52 AM)
35
Big mitzvah!
hatzlacha!
(5/21/2013 5:55:41 PM)
36
Sam
BH Levi!! Nice to see the progress!
(5/21/2013 7:43:21 PM)
37
Dream come true
Kosher in redondo? Who would of thought!!

So happy to hear cant wait to visit!
(5/21/2013 7:44:44 PM)
38
Proud of my boys
Chazak veematz !
(5/21/2013 9:13:46 PM)
39
Swag!!!
From Swagbucks central!!
(5/21/2013 11:41:51 PM)
40
sweet memories!!!
O.T '01
(5/23/2013 2:10:31 PM)
41
Dansdeals!!!!
Like if you like food!!!
(5/23/2013 2:11:06 PM)
42
bubby.
levi ur getting old on me!
(5/23/2013 5:11:57 PM)
43
nice sign!!!!!
looks really well done!!
(5/23/2013 5:52:45 PM)
44
"Chayo"
I like it :)
(5/23/2013 9:03:12 PM)
45
Great location!!
I've been there and it's a Beauty of a spot!!
(5/23/2013 11:08:45 PM)
46
Tell me no!! Orange? Yea!
Love the orange :)!
(5/23/2013 11:10:01 PM)
47
ATT!
Who is the young bucher on the left?
(5/23/2013 11:10:50 PM)
48
Curios George!
Let the rain fall with the wind this place is gonna rock!
(5/24/2013 1:30:00 AM)
49
To #47
Thats levi chayo silly.....
(5/24/2013 1:40:58 AM)
50
Ben
when do they open?
(5/24/2013 4:20:00 AM)
51
To #50
The article says July
(5/24/2013 8:46:28 PM)
52
#50
July!
(5/26/2013 12:52:27 AM)
53
So psyched
Sundays in so-cal will rock!
(5/26/2013 8:00:52 PM)
54
Yay!
I will never go hungry again!!!!
(5/26/2013 9:16:05 PM)
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