About Lettuce Entertain You

“Lettuce Entertain You started because of ideas. We are a band of entrepreneurs that do something under one umbrella and it’s our culture of caring that bonds us. Caring about the food, service, our people and our guests.”

– Rich Melman, Founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

View Our Restaurant List

Who We Are

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) is an independent, family-owned restaurant group based in Chicago that owns, manages and licenses more than 120 establishments in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, California, Virginia and Washington D.C. We were founded in June 1971 by Richard Melman and Jerry A. Orzoff with the opening of R.J. Grunts and today, thanks to the creativity of our partners, we proudly service guests at more than 60 concepts ranging from fast casual restaurants like M Burger and Wow Bao to fine dining, Michelin-starred establishment, Everest.

Meet The Partners

Fast Facts

  • Open on Earth, June 10, 1971

    Lettuce opened on earth, June 10, 1971 with the opening of R.J. Grunts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park

  • We Operate Over 100 Restaurants

    Lettuce owns and operates over 60 unique restaurant concepts from fine dining restaurants like Everest to fast casual concepts like M Burger. Our goal is not to be the biggest, but to be the best we can be.

  • The Lettuce Entertain You Test Kitchen

    The Lettuce Lab is our test kitchen located at the corporate office. It’s here where restaurant concepts are born and recipes are tested daily. Hundreds of chefs have worked in the Lettuce Lab over the years and our corporate chef/ partner Rita Dever oversees it all.



  • Over 7,500 Beloved Employees

    Lettuce proudly employs over 7,500 employees. We have all levels, positions and opportunites.

  • James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award 2015

    Our Founder Rich Melman was honored with the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his dedication and thought leadership in the hospitality industry.



Our History

On earth since June, 1971, Lettuce Entertain You has unveiled a plethora of restaurants across the country. From burger joints to fine dining, Michelin-starred restaurants, our company is diverse, ever-evolving and imaginative.

June 1971
June 10, 1971: Lettuce Entertain You is Open on Earth

Richard Melman and his partner Jerry Orzoff open R.J. Grunts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Lettuce Entertain You is born.

June 1976
Lettuce Entertain You Re-creates the Pump Room
June 1980
Ambria Becomes our First Fine Dining Restaurant

Lettuce Entertain You opens Ambria, our first fine dining restaurant.

June 1984
Lettuce Takes Over Chicago's River North

Lettuce Entertain You enters into (what was) an un-tested neighborhood, Chicago’s River North, with concepts like Ed Debevic’s, Shaw’s Crab House and Scoozi.

June 1992
Tucci Benucch Becomes the First Lettuce Restaurant in Minnesota
May 1993
Introducing one of Chicago's Very First Food halls

Foodlife becomes one of the Windy City’s very first food hall concepts, opening in Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.

September 1999
Lettuce Entertain You Heads to Las Vegas

Mon Ami Gabi and Eiffel Tower Restaurant open in Las Vegas, right on the strip!

October 2000
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab Comes to the Windy City

Lettuce Entertain You partners with Miami’s famous Joe’s Stone Crab to open the first Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago.

March 2002
Mon Ami Gabi Heads to D.C.

The first restaurant in the D.C. area opens with Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda, MD.

August 2003
Kevin Brown is named CEO of Lettuce Entertain You
August 2008
Hub 51 is Now Open

R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman open their first restaurant Hub 51 in Chicago’s River North.

April 2011
Lettuce Opens on the West Coast

M Street Kitchen and Stella Barra Pizzeria open in Los Angeles.

February 2012
The RPM Brand is Born

R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman partner with celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic and Chef Doug Psaltis to open RPM Italian, a modern Italian restaurant in Chicago.

June 2013
It's Tiki Time

Three Dots and a Dash, Lettuce Entertain You’s first cocktail bar is now open. This award-winning tiki bar was named one of the “Best Bars in America” by Esquire Magazine and would later become one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in the country.

May 2015
Rich Melman is awarded the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award

Press Kits

Interested in learning more about Lettuce Entertain You and our restaurants?

Press Releases

R.J. Melman Named President of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Oct 04, 2017

CHICAGO, IL – September 2017 – Richard Melman, Founder and Chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) announced today that his son, R.J. Melman will be taking over as President of the private restaurant group. Kevin Brown, current CEO and President will remain on as Chief Executive Officer. Richard Melman will remain as Founder and… read more ›


Sep 26, 2017

BEATRIX MARKET OPENING IN THE LOOP TODAY Neighborhood grab-and-go market and salad bar opens its first stand-alone location in the Loop CHICAGO, IL. – September 26, 2017–  Beatrix Market is now open in the loop (155 N. Wacker). This is the first stand-alone location and the third of its kind in Chicago. The quick grab-and-go market experience originated in Streeterville in 2015 as a… read more ›

M Burger’s Huron location to serve the Impossible Burger starting September 21 for a limited time

Sep 22, 2017

M Burger is excited to announce their partnership with Impossible Foods to introduce Chicago to the Impossible Burger. Starting Thursday, September 21, M Burger’s Huron location (161 E. Huron St.) will be among the first in Chicago where you can try the Impossible Burger, the world's only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef… read more ›


Sep 11, 2017

Shaw’s Crab House Oyster Fest is headed home. This year to mark its 29th annual celebration, Shaw’s is inviting guests inside its much beloved downtown Oyster Bar for a 10-day party from October 5th through the 15th. The 10-day party includes it all, from all day happy hours to dinners with award-winning oyster purveyors from around… read more ›

Booth One? Sure, Right This Way…

Sep 11, 2017

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is excited to announce Booth One (1301 N. State Parkway), a classic Chicago restaurant being re-introduced in the heart of the Gold Coast neighborhood from founder Rich Melman. Drawing inspiration from the legendary restaurant at the former Ambassador East Hotel, Booth One will be a modern American restaurant with a vibrant… read more ›

In The News

Chicago's 10 Best Places for Pie

Zagat |
Matt Kirouac |
Oct 18, 2017
Original Article: "Chicago's 10 Best Places for Pie"

FROM HIBISCUS KEY LIME TO CHICKEN BALTI No matter how you slice it, pie is delicious. It's a sweet way of showing off the season's best fruit, and it makes a perfect year-round showcase for chocolate, custard and even savory fillings. Here in Chicago, there are more than a few pastry experts competing for the… read more ›

Steve LaHaie of Shaw's Crab House gives a lesson on enjoying oysters

Chicago Tribune |
Roger Morales |
Oct 13, 2017
Original Article: "Steve LaHaie of Shaw's Crab House gives a lesson on enjoying oysters"

Steve LaHaie of Shaw's Crab House gives us a lesson on enjoying oysters. Watch the full video here. read more ›

CHI GUIDE: Where To Go For Drinks And A Light Bite

The Infatuation |
Adrian Kane |
Oct 13, 2017
Original Article: "CHI GUIDE: Where To Go For Drinks And A Light Bite"

Drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea. Remember that time you went out for happy hour after work, and instead of heading right home, you took an Uber out to Rivers Casino? That was an expensive detour, and might not have happened if you had ordered some food. Or maybe you’re planning a… read more ›

Themed LA Date Ideas for Every Type of Person

Thrillist |
Leila Najafi |
Oct 12, 2017
Original Article: "Themed LA Date Ideas for Every Type of Person"

Dating in LA can be daunting, and while we’ve given you plenty of can’t-miss date ideas in the past, sometimes you need a little more than just a general suggestion -- sometimes, you need the whole damn thing planned out for you. Since we love a challenge, we’ve put together a batch of unique date itineraries catered toward… read more ›

11 All-Seasons Patios in Chicago to Visit All Year Long

Eater Chicago |
Elizabeth Atkinson |
Oct 11, 2017
Original Article: "11 All-Seasons Patios in Chicago to Visit All Year Long"

These bars and restaurants have retractable roofs and heaters to pretend it’s warm outside. When the weather gets cool, many Chicagoans love to be in denial that winter is around the corner or already here. Thankfully, some of Chicago’s restaurants and bars have just the right cure for winter denial—all-seasons patios. With cozy fireplaces, glass-enclosed… read more ›

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-907-7347