Bob Chinn, whose Bob Chinn’s Crab House on Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling attracted crowds from all over the country and became one of the country’s highest-grossing eateries, died on Friday, April 15, 2022. At the time of his death, Bob was 99-year-old. Taking to its Facebook page, the restaurant shared a heartfelt post. They wrote that with an extremely heavy heart, they are announcing the demise of their fearless leader, their friend, and their family member, Bob Chinn. It was added that Bob’s larger-than-life personality and famous tastebuds gave the restaurant 99 years of excitement, innovation, and countless smiles.
The longtime Chicago area chef and restaurateur’s passing has affected all his loved ones and well-wishers. Although he died naturally at a decent age, people who admired him and his work and celebrated his life are devastated to learn about the news of his passing. Bob Chinn’s granddaughter, Carly LeTourneau, said that Bob lived life to the fullest in every situation and that he will always be remembered for his great personality and generous nature. Tributes have poured in for the chef on social media ever since the news broke online.
Who Was Bob Chinn?
Chinn was the son of Chinese immigrants and the third of seven children. He was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and moved to Chicago with his family when he was eight years old. He earned money on the deposits by collecting empty pop bottles near Wrigley Field and passing out leaflets for the Vogue movie theatre in Uptown, he once told the Chicago Sun-Times. Chinn began distributing Chinese food on foot at the age of 14 and dropped out of high school to join the army during WWII (World War II), serving for three years outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Bob Chinn’s global travels and encounters with seafood in many parts of the world encouraged him to build Bob Chinn’s Crab House on Milwaukee Avenue in 1982, with 250 seats. The Wheeling restaurant generated $24 million in food sales alone a year and was named the nation’s highest-grossing restaurant by Forbes magazine in 2012.
The restaurant expanded to 700 seats and averaged 2,500 dinners per day, with 3,000 pounds of fish flown in daily. According to Bob’s family, he was in the restaurant seven days a week until he was 90. His granddaughter stated that everyone was friends with Bob and called him a passionate person that also speaks about the success of his restaurant in the nation. RIP Bob Chinn!