As the co-founder and CEO of Bottega Louie — a popular Italian restaurant, gourmet market, and French patisserie in downtown Los Angeles — Christopher Bollenbach, R’89, is a successful entrepreneur and restaurateur.

Despite never spending a dollar on advertising or public relations, Bottega Louie is the most reviewed restaurant on Yelp — worldwide. It has become a favorite of locals and out-of-towners by providing guests with a high-end dining experience at a reasonable price — a concept Bollenbach calls “accessible luxury.”

“We’ve driven all of our resources into providing a consistent product that’s very high-quality, fine food,“ Bollenbach said. “We take a very serious approach to our guests and the type of experiences that they have.”

Bollenbach has applied a similar focus to philanthropy.

In September 2018, Face Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to providing reconstructive surgery and emotional support to those disfigured as a result of domestic violence or other criminal acts, recognized him for his ongoing commitment to improving the lives of survivors. Face Forward is just one of the many beneficiaries of Bollenbach’s generosity.

Chairman of the Bollenbach Family Scholarship Fund and a trustee at his high school alma mater, he also lends his support to causes such as the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Autism Speaks, and the Academy of Business Leadership. Growing up in a “philanthropically oriented” family, Bollenbach understands the importance of giving back.

“Education is critical to the world around us; it helps promote growth in economies and communities,” Bollenbach said. “Private philanthropy creates a real basis for honest giving.

“I was provided with so many advantages growing up, and what I learned at that age in my life was invaluable,” he added. “I now have a duty to turn around and provide my time, effort, and money to help others who are less fortunate.”