Jeffrey Chodorow

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Jeffrey Chodorow
Born (1950-03-02) March 2, 1950 (age 68)
Bronx, New York
Occupation Restaurateur, financier, lawyer

Jeffrey R. Chodorow (born March 2, 1950) is an American restaurateur, lawyer & financier.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Jeffrey Chodorow was born in the Bronx, but his father died the year he was born, so he and his mother moved to Miami, Florida in 1950[3] to live with Chodorow's mother's sister.[4][5] His mother and aunt were both manicurists in a Cuban barbershop.[4] He grew up in Miami Beach. Chodorow grew up very poor in a very wealthy Miami area.[4]

Chodorow graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 with a degree in economics.[6] He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1975 as a juris doctor.[3][5][7] He was a lawyer in Pennsylvania and Florida.[6][8]


In the 1970s, Chodorow developed shopping centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1987, he opened a Bojangles' restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina.[9]

In June, 1988, BIA-COR Holdings, headed by Chodorow, purchased Braniff, Inc., the 1984 successor to Braniff International Airways and Braniff International Corporation, that was owned by Hyatt Corporation. Braniff, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in September, 1989, and ceased scheduled operations in November. The carrier operated a limited Boeing 727 charter operation during December and ceased all operations at the end of the month. Chodorow's group purchased the assets of Braniff, Inc., at auction and used the assets to form another Braniff named airline.[10]

In 1991, Chodorow resurrected the defunct Braniff, Inc. and named it Braniff International Airlines, Inc. after the original Braniff Airways. The reborn airline lasted for one year and operated Douglas DC-9 twinjet and Boeing 727-200 trijet airliners operating out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. Chodorow was convicted in 1994 of obstructing a pending proceeding of and defrauding the U.S. Department of Transportation. In return for his guilty plea to these charges, the government dropped additional charges that Chodorow committed bankruptcy fraud and fraudulently concealed assets from creditors.[11] Chodorow was sent to jail for one year. During this time, Jack Polsenberg and Neil Faggen kept the restaurants open and ran them until Chodorow was released from jail.[12]

Chodorow was involved with the program The Restaurant, a reality TV show that aired on NBC in 2003, with a second season broadcasting in 2004.[13] The show was produced by Mark Burnett and starred celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. The show portrayed the opening and running of a Manhattan restaurant as well as ongoing conflicts between DiSpirito and Chodorow, usually revolving around the lack of the restaurant's profitability. The show was canceled and DiSpirito was successfully sued by Chodorow, the restaurant's financier, to have the restaurant shut down and DiSpirito banned from entering the premises.[13]

Chodorow opened the Asia de Cuba restaurant at the Schrager Morgans Hotel,[14] and subsequently was the financier for the restaurant in the reality TV show The Restaurant[citation needed] He also owns China Grill Management, a collection of restaurants, a number of which are also in Schrager hotels.[citation needed]

In a full page ad taken out in the February 21, 2007 dining section of the New York Times, Chodorow declared figurative war on critic Frank Bruni for giving him a poor review. The ad said the review was a personal attack and that he would follow up Bruni's reviews with visits to the restaurant himself, with his own review to follow on his blog.

On February 15, 2011, Sam Sifton of The New York Times reviewed Chodorow's newest restaurant Bar Basque, giving high marks to the food and trashing the decor and ambiance.[15]


  1. ^ Susan Saulny (July 28, 2004). "Judge Orders Rocco Out of Rocco's". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Doree Shafrir (2007-11-14). "Chodorow Eats New York". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Rocco DiSpirito and Jeffrey Chodorow Feud - The Restaurant - Rocco's". Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  5. ^ a b Belinda Hulin (March 21, 2008). "Emperor of China Grill: Chodorow Runs Hip Eateries with Fun on the Menu". University of Pennsylvania Law School. 
  6. ^ a b "Dealmaker Writes His Own Ticket". philly-archives. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Nagourney, Adam (June 22, 2005). "24 Restaurants and Still Hungry". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Lawyer Jeffrey Chodorow - Philadelphia, PA Attorney -". Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Eichenwald, Kurt (June 27, 1988). "Four Take Braniff Posts After Buyout". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "UNITED STATES v. SPENCER". Findlaw. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Scot SPENCER, Defendant-Appellant". FindLaw. October 30, 1997. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Peterson, Helen (July 28, 2004). "TV Eatery's Rocco Gets A Bitter Pill To Swallow". Daily News. 
  14. ^ Archived 2005-05-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Sam Sifton (2011-02-15). "Bar Basque". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]