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 a number of months, he felt he was ready to take the plunge.
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