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Chicago restaurateur Eduard Seitan was living the American dream when the coronavirus pandemic struck.
In 1992, Seitan immigrated to the United States from Romania when he was 19 years old — and didn’t speak a word of English. He worked construction for a few months before landing a job as a food runner at the Italian restaurant Club Lucky since he spoke Italian.
Over the next few years, he learned English while being promoted to server and eventually head server. In 1997, one of the bartenders asked if he wanted to help open a restaurant, and he became a partner in One Off Hospitality Group, which opened the Michelin-starred restaurant Blackbird and eventually 10 other Chicago hot spots, including Avec, The Publican and Big Star.