SAN FRANCISCO—Robert Samuel “Sam” DuVall, 80, died of natural causes on November 1. DuVall’s daughter, Samantha DuVall Bechtel, posted details about his death on Izzy’s Steaks and Chops Instagram account.
“My Dad truly embodied the spirit of hospitality…He loved nothing more than creating special experiences and spaces for people to gather, celebrate and connect. He was extremely generous with his time and welcomed his guests as if they were a part of his family,” reads the post.
DuVall was born in Jacksonville, Mississippi, on July 11, 1940. His first restaurant was Front Room Pizza, which he opened with no experience in the restaurant business. On the Robert Samuel DuVall website, DuVall noted, “I didn’t much like what I was doing and I’ve always liked to eat. I figured how difficult can it be to open a restaurant…. Before I opened, my research was that for 30 days I ate pizza all over the city. I hired away the best pizza cook for my place.”
He opened a total of 30 restaurants, including San Francisco’s steakhouse Izzy’s Steaks and Chops, which he opened in 1987. According to their website, the restaurant was named after Izzy Gomez and his San Francisco Café and Volstead Act history.
“He had the goal of taking someone out of their day-to-day and bringing them, if just for a few hours, into an all-encompassing, unique experience, from the decor to the food to the way they felt when they walked in the door,” Bechtel told the San Francisco Chronicle.
DuVall is survived by his daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and his ex-wife, Carolyn Chandler.