Cal Rosenbaum passed away on Saturday, December 28th at the age of 83. Always a fighter, he
succumbed gracefully at the end.
Born in Hartford Ct., November 10, 1936, his family relocated to South Florida when he was
13. He was part of the first four year graduating class at Coral Gables High School in 1954. Cal
attended University of Miami , graduating in 1958 and went into business as a traveling
salesman for photographic supplies and equipment.
In the early 1960's he went to work for Louis Wolfson at Wometco Enterprises where he rose
to the ranks of Vice President of Risk Management. But he really wasn’t interested in
“corporate life”. In 1967 he decided to become a restauranteur.
Coral Gables was fast becoming the new dining mecca of Miami and Cal had the opportunity to
buy a house on the border of the Coral Gables Craft Section, and he decided it was time to give
popular Chez Vendome some competition. He opened The Ledges restaurant,(now known as
Christies), stole one of the the top Chefs from Chez Vendome and the rest as they say is
history. But that wasn’t the career he wanted either. He sold the restaurant in 1973.
Somewhere along the way he became a collector. His Lalique collection was extensive,
beautiful and sold for a lot of money. One Peter Max painting bankrolled his lifestyle and
fueled his philanthropic generosity for years. Cal decided that his future was in real estate
investment. And that’s what he stayed with for the rest of his life.
Cal married in 1962 and later divorced. He is survived by his two sons, Mark and Scott. He
supported many worthwhile organizations including UM’s Frost School of Music, The Rotary
Foundation, Miami Jewish Home, Avhat Oholm Synagogue, Israel Defense League just to name
a few. Despite his reputation as a difficult businessman, he was a “soft touch” who hated to
see people suffer, especially if he could help. He will be missed by many.