On Tues., July 19, my family (wife Paula, daughter Lacey, son Christopher, and his fiancee, Katie) and I celebrated Paula’s birthday at our favorite restaurant, Toulouse. We arrived to find that our requested table was occupied by none other than restaurateur Alberto Lombardi and several of his family members and friends—including his go-to real estate broker, Marcello Rosen.
As the table transitioned to us, we exchanged warm hellos with Alberto and Marcello.
Less than a month later, on Fri., August 12, my son and I attended a memorial service for Marcello, who had lost a courageous battle with cancer. Christopher (who’s also a fellow Weitzman broker) and I were both struck by the frailty and sanctity of life—and the loss of a true real estate professional and a valued business friend.
The service was attended by hundreds of Marcello’s friends and family, including Dallas restaurateurs Avner and Celeste Samuel, Alberto and Vivian Lombardi, Taco and Duni Borga, and The Grape’s Brian and Courtney Luscher—as well as restaurant brokers Dennis Leibovitz, Steve Williamson, Jack Gosnell, Alan Mann, Nelson Billups, and many others —all there to pay respects to a well-liked player in our business.
Marcello lived a fascinating life and was a successful retailer in his own right (as co-founder of the Pea in a Pod chain) before switching over to the commercial real estate arena, focusing on restaurant development and site selection. Most recently he was senior vice president at Dunhill Partners.
As tough as it was to realize the loss of Marcello, I was comforted by the sense of community of our commercial real estate industry. On my next visit to Toulouse, La Duni, Nosh, or The Grape, I will raise my glass and toast Marcello, a true professional and a friend.
Bob Young is managing director of The Weitzman Group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.