Ira Beer FFCSI: a personal reflection

Arlene Spiegel FCSI celebrates the life of a long-time colleague who will be "sorely missed and never forgotten"

The North American consultant community is mourning the passing of Ira Beer FFCSI. Here, fellow New York City-based consultant and long-time colleague Arlene Spiegel reflects on Ira Beer and his contribution to the profession:


Ira and I teamed up decades ago when I was developing restaurant concepts for public, private and tribal casinos. We traveled on puddle jumpers throughout the country, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, and Colorado.

We designed high-end steakhouses, buffets, VIP lounges, poker rooms and food courts. He named one of the concepts in the food court Gisele’s Bakery, after his beloved wife. Ira was always figuring out what he was able to eat in these venues and still comply with Kashruth laws. Many of the folks we met along the way had never even met a Jewish person. One of my clearest memories is being in an airport watching Ira, with his baseball hat on, eating tuna from a can with a plastic fork in order to get some nourishment on our journeys. 

Commanding attention

In the many project meetings we attended with clients, architects, engineers, designers and chefs, Ira always commanded attention when he spoke. He would clearly state the problem, talk about the possible solutions, all while hand-sketching some custom piece of equipment that would showcase his vision. The audience was always mesmerized and in awe of the the clarity of his thoughts.

We all knew we were very fortunate to have him on the team, regardless of the challenges. He was a good listener and made everyone feel that their ideas were important. 

He will be sorely missed and never forgotten. 

Arlene Spiegel FCSI

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