Long Beach has lost a familiar face with the death this week of longtime Chianina general manager Alejandro Duran. The affable front of house manager was 55.
For anyone who has spent time at Chianina, the upscale steakhouse owned by the team behind Michael’s nearby, Duran was a familiar sight. Often working the floor — and usually recommending the wines — Duran helped to shape the look and feel of the restaurant in real ways, touching tables nightly and overseeing a robust drinks program.
News of the death of Duran was first announced on the restaurant’s Instagram page, with the following sentiment:
It is with great sadness that Michael’s Restaurant Group announces the passing of an essential and much-loved member of the MRG family. Alejandro G. Duran, General Manager and Sommelier at Chianina Steakhouse in Naples, suffered a heart attack on August 8th while spending time at the beach with his family. As we honor a life well-lived, please keep Alejandro’s wife, Dana, and daughters, Sofia and Isabella, in your hearts and minds.
In another time, the Mexican-born Duran was himself a chef who helped open restaurants around Austin, Texas, including the popular Malaga. According to Austin 360, in an obituary on the man, Duran sold his stake in the restaurant in 2013 before moving to Long Beach to oversee operations at Chianina. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.