Mark Kuller, the owner of Proof, Estadio, Doi Moi, and 2 Birds 1 Stone, died today at the age of 61. The Post reports that he had been fighting pancreatic cancer. The lawyer-turned-restaurateur was known for a personality as big as his six-foot-six stature and the eagle-eyed attention to detail he put into his businesses, which are some of the best in the city.
Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman wrote a fantastic profile of Kuller more than a year ago, which is worth a reread. In it, he writes about how Kuller grew up in a small town outside the Catskills—the son of a "bookie who worked for the mafia" and "Jewish Mother Teresa." A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles law school, Kuller moved to D.C. in 1982 to work for the Treasury Department and practiced tax law before opening Proof in 2007 and becoming a full-time restaurateur.
"It’s hard, when you’re in his booming presence, to fathom that he wasn’t one of those men who come stomping out of the womb and begin imposing their will on life not long after they leave grade school," Kliman wrote.
The Post reports Kuller is survived by his brother Jason, his wife Kristin and their son, Cash, as well as his children from a previous marriage, Max and Candace, who both work at his restaurants.
If you'd like to share remembrances about Mark, feel free to send them to [email protected] and we'll publish them here.
Photo of Mark Kuller by Darrow Montgomery