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 130 establishments in Illinois, 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 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 130 Restaurants

    Lettuce owns and operates more than 60 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 opportunities.

  • 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.

1970

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

Lettuce Entertain You Re-creates the Pump Room
June 1976

Lettuce Entertain You Re-creates the Pump Room

1980

Ambria Becomes our First Fine Dining Restaurant
June 1980

Ambria Becomes our First Fine Dining Restaurant

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

Lettuce Takes Over Chicago's River North
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.

1990

Tucci Benucch Becomes the First Lettuce Restaurant in Minnesota
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!

2000

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

Hub 51 is Now Open
August 2008

Hub 51 is Now Open

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

2010

April 2011

Lettuce Opens on the West Coast

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

The RPM Brand is Born
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.

It's Tiki Time
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.

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

Rich Melman is awarded the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award

RJ Melman headshot
September 2017

R.J. Melman is named President of Lettuce Entertain You

Press Kits

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

Press Releases

A Re-Imagined Tallboy Taco is Opening This Spring in Streeterville
Feb 20, 2020

Coming soon to Streeterville, a re-imagined Tallboy Taco (676 N. St. Clair St.) will open this spring with a brand new menu. The fast-casual taco restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7 AM - 8 PM, and offer carryout, delivery and off-premise catering. The new restaurant will feature an expansive 85-seat patio… read more ›

RPM Seafood Now Open on the Chicago Riverfront
Jan 23, 2020

The Seafood-Focused Restaurant Completes the Final Phase of the 317 N. Clark St. Project RPM Seafood, a seafood-focused restaurant from the RPM team of partners including R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic, is now open at 317 N. Clark St. on the Chicago River.… read more ›

WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT IS BACK AND BIGGER THAN EVER WITH STAR-STUDDED MUSIC LINEUP
Jan 21, 2020

CHICAGO - January 21, 2020 - In its eighth year, Windy City Smokeout announces its most impressive music lineup to date. The nation’s premier outdoor country music and BBQ festival will return to Chicago on July 10-12, 2020, outside of the iconic United Center at 1901 W. Madison Street. Hosted by popular barbecue joint, Bub… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises & Grubhub Launch Padma’s Curry Leaf
Jan 15, 2020

The delivery-only restaurant dishes out traditional Indian cuisine to Chicago starting today CHICAGO, IL --- Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), a multi-concept restaurant group, and Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, are launching the third virtual concept in their Chicago-based partnership with Padma’s Curry Leaf, an authentic Indian… read more ›

Dance Studio Vol. 1 Grand Unveiling on Saturday, January 18
Jan 14, 2020

Chicago’s best dance party kicks off this weekend in River North and you’re invited Dance Studio Vol. 1 will open its doors Saturday, January 18, debuting the full club for the very first time. The new dance club is a partnership between Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and veteran Los Angeles-based nightlife operators, brothers Fred Grimmel… read more ›

Introducing Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar in Santa Monica
Nov 25, 2019

The original Stella Barra adds pastas, tavern-style pizza, expanded wine list and more Stella Barra in Santa Monica is transforming into Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar, debuting a new menu that includes Italian wine bar favorites, in addition to featuring the restaurant’s signature hand-stretched pizzas. From Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin and Executive Chef… read more ›

Wildfire's Signature Chopped Salad Comes Home to Chicago In a New Meal Kit By Peapod
Nov 07, 2019

Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer, announces the expansion of its successful meal kit collaboration with the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’®, adding three new meal kits by Wildfire®, a classic steakhouse specializing in chops and seafood.  Peapod is now offering the Wildfire® Signature Chopped Salad meal kit complete with roasted chicken, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, corn… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and The Alinea Group are pleased to announce their first ever collaboration: Ambria 2020.
Oct 28, 2019

For 27 years Ambria set the standard for French fine dining in the city of Chicago. Beloved for its classical influences paired with warm, often humorous service and an incredible wine program, Ambria was the touchpoint of classical cuisine for a generation of Chicagoans. Four years ago Alinea Group co-founder Nick Kokonas suggested to LEYE… read more ›

Sushi-San Opening Second Location in Early 2020
Oct 03, 2019

EQ Office, the U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, today announced Sushi-San will open a second location at Willis Tower. The sushi spot will be located in Catalog, the 300,000 square feet, five-story dining, retail and immersive-entertainment experience at the base of Willis Tower, which is now under construction. This… read more ›

Aba to Open In Austin, Texas
Sep 25, 2019

Aba will open its second location in Music Lane in Austin, Texas in Spring 2020. This is Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ first restaurant to open in Texas. The concept was created by Executive Partner and Divisional President Marc Jacobs and Chef Partner CJ Jacobson.  “Lettuce Entertain You is excited to open its first restaurant… read more ›

Bon Appétit Opens Virtual Restaurant in Chicago
Sep 24, 2019

Bon Appétit, the award-winning food lifestyle brand, announced today the launch of Bon Appétit, Delivered, a virtual restaurant featuring dishes curated by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. The delivery-only concept is available exclusively in Chicago through Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace. The virtual storefront is operated by… read more ›

Shaw’s Crab House Celebrates the 31st Annual Oyster Fest
Sep 11, 2019

Shaw's Crab House is honoring the oyster with its longest celebration yet: the 31st annual Oyster Fest from October 1 - 31, 2019 hosted at Shaw's Crab House Chicago (21 E. Hubbard Street) and Shaw's Crab House Schaumburg. (1900 E. Higgins Road). The month-long bash will be filled with new oyster-centric dishes, fried chicken and… read more ›

Streeterville’s Ramen-San Is Now Ramen-San Deluxe
Sep 03, 2019

Starting today, Ramen-San in Streeterville (165 E. Huron Street) will become Ramen-San Deluxe. The restaurant brings together the most popular dishes from the Ramen-San menu and combines it with maki rolls prepared by Master Sushi Chef Kaze Chan from River North sister spot, Sushi-San.  View the new Ramen-San Deluxe menu here. Make a reservation at… read more ›

Whole30, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises & Grubhub Team Up for Healthier Meal Options with Whole30 Delivered
Aug 21, 2019

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), a multi-concept restaurant group, and Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, are partnering to offer Whole30 Delivered, Whole30’s first-ever branded restaurant. This delivery-only restaurant concept from Whole30, the 30-day dietary reset chosen by millions for stunning, life-changing results, is operated by LEYE and… read more ›

Beatrix to Open at Disney Springs in Florida
Aug 07, 2019

Beatrix will open a location in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This is Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ first restaurant to open in Florida, and is Beatrix’s first location outside of Illinois. The concept was created by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Founder Rich Melman, Executive Partner and Divisional… read more ›

Pizzeria Portofino Is Now Open On The Chicago River
Jul 09, 2019

Pizzeria Portofino opens today on the Chicago riverfront at 317 N. Clark Street. The restaurant transports you to the Riviera with its hand-stretched pizzas, coastal wines, expansive patio and breezy decor. It comes from the RPM team of partners including R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, chef Doug Psaltis and Bill… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You's Newest Project on the Chicago River Includes a Pizzeria, a Private Event Space and an RPM Restaurant
May 09, 2019

The multi-level space designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group will open at 317 N. Clark Street Presented by the team behind RPM Restaurants, Pizzeria Portofino will open this June directly on the Chicago riverfront. The restaurant is a sun-drenched casual pizzeria that instantly transports you to the Riviera, offering expansive patio seating… read more ›

Mr. Maki Opens Tomorrow in Streeterville
Apr 24, 2019

The team behind Ramen-San and Sushi-San of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises opens Mr. Maki tomorrow, Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 676 N. St. Clair in Streeterville. The new concept is built around maki rolls and the Japanese combo meal known as teishoku, which became the team’s favorite way to eat during their travels in Japan.… read more ›

Wow Bao Introduces First Gluten Free Bao
Apr 24, 2019

Wow Bao is introducing its first ever gluten free bao on May 1, just in time for Celiac Awareness Month (May). The team at Wow Bao has been hard at work testing recipes to perfect a gluten free bao option and the recipe substitutes the wheat-based dough for a tapioca and rice flour alternative. The… read more ›

Meet Mr. Maki: Opening in Streeterville this Spring
Mar 28, 2019

The team behind Ramen-San and Sushi-San of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will open Mr. Maki at 676 N. St. Clair in Streeterville this spring. The new concept is built around maki rolls and the Japanese combo meal known as teishoku, which became the team’s favorite way to eat during their travels in Japan. Mr. Maki… read more ›

In The News

The Power 20: Kiran Pinto
Restaurant Business |
Restaurant Business |
Mar 27, 2020
Original Article: "The Power 20: Kiran Pinto"

PARTNER, LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU ENTERPRISES & LETTUCE PARTIES While Kiran Pinto originally started in the industry with the dream of becoming a chef, she quickly realized her passion and purpose didn’t align. Now, she’s been with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) for 17 years and has established a career that has let her explore different… read more ›

10 Luxe Chicago Restaurants For Take-Out While Sheltering In Place
CS Modern Luxury |
J.P. Anderson |
Mar 26, 2020
Original Article: "10 Luxe Chicago Restaurants For Take-Out While Sheltering In Place"

Thanks to a wave of expanded take-out and delivery options, you can indulge in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants without having to leave your abode. Here are 10 to put on your must-try list. Stone crab from Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab JOE’S SEAFOOD, PRIME STEAK & STONE CRAB Bone-in ribeyes, Chilean sea… read more ›

Get Restaurant Meals as Part of The Great American Takeout
Food Network |
Samantha Lande |
Mar 24, 2020
Original Article: "Get Restaurant Meals as Part of The Great American Takeout"

Restaurants around the country are offering specials today. It’s a challenging time for restaurants — shuttered dining operations around the country mean that many can only offer curbside pickup, drive-thru or delivery, typically with a very scaled-back staff. For those who can’t dine-in, there are still great ways to support your favorite restaurants. Today, March… read more ›

Upgrade your bar cart with these take-home cocktail kits from Chicago’s top mixologists
Thrillist Chicago |
Emma Krupp |
Mar 24, 2020
Original Article: "Upgrade your bar cart with these take-home cocktail kits from Chicago’s top mixologists"

Now that we're living in a mostly homebound world dominated by quarantine memes, you might find yourself pining after life's little luxuries from a few weeks past, like a post-work cocktail or a night out at your favorite bar. The stay-at-home order persists for now, but luckily, plenty of local watering holes are offering prepackaged cocktail… read more ›

Spotlight On: Chicago’s Female Sommeliers and Beverage Directors
DiningOut Chicago |
Kaleigh Glaza |
Mar 6, 2020
Original Article: "Spotlight On: Chicago’s Female Sommeliers and Beverage Directors"

With Women’s Day coming up this weekend, there is no time better than now to honor the amazing women of the Chicago food world. From chefs and restaurateurs to bartenders and sommeliers, women are owning the food scene! They’re bringing a new expertise and perspective to classic techniques and putting their own spin on changing… read more ›

Dance Studio Vol. 1 Is Here to Fill the Studio Paris Void
Chicago Magazine |
PETER RANVESTEL |
Mar 3, 2020
Original Article: "Dance Studio Vol. 1 Is Here to Fill the Studio Paris Void"

A groovy replacement to the recently shuttered club features celeb DJs (Shaq!) and a fresh vibe. After ruling the Near North Side nightclub scene for nearly all of the 2010s, seminal dance hotspot Studio Paris abruptly closed in February 2019. One year later, it’s reopened as Dance Studio Vol. 1 (58 W. Kinzie St.), a new… read more ›

All For Love
Chicago Splash |
Samantha Lande |
Feb 21, 2020
Original Article: "All For Love"

Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s entrepreneurial projects — and affectionate nature — are growing strong. Chicago has always adored the Rancics. After all, Bill grew up in Orland Park, went to Loyola, and started his career here. And the world got to watch as the couple’s life played out in the Gold Coast on the reality… read more ›

Grilled Cheese…Not Just Your Average Kids’ Meal
DiningOut Chicago |
Kaleigh Glaza |
Jan 31, 2020
Original Article: "Grilled Cheese…Not Just Your Average Kids’ Meal"

No matter your age, you're going to love all the ooey gooey goodness of these sandwiches Grilled cheese is a go-to for picky eaters,  the perfect choice for when you need some comfort food, and tomato soup’s perfect partner. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be a delicious gourmet meal on its own as well… read more ›

6 romantic getaways for Chicago couples
Chicago Parent |
Cortney Fries |
Jan 29, 2020
Original Article: "6 romantic getaways for Chicago couples"

Nothing says I love you more than spending time together. Plus, taking a break from chores and carpooling is a total bonus too. Plan a Midwest weekend getaway with your love. Enjoy some one-on-one time (like before the children came along) doing new and relaxing things that will slow you down enough to feel your… read more ›

A $50 Million Revamp Brings Chicago’s Waterfront a New Glittering Dining Destination
Robb Report |
JEREMY REPANICH |
Jan 24, 2020
Original Article: "A $50 Million Revamp Brings Chicago’s Waterfront a New Glittering Dining Destination"

RPM Seafood offers stunning shellfish towers and outstanding views of the river. The Chicago riverfront continues its transformation into an urban oasis. Last week we told you how José Andrés was partnering with venerable Windy City restaurant group Gibsons for a multi-story restaurant inside a new development. This week the newest addition to the river is an elegant two-story seafood restaurant… read more ›

Kat Hawkins of Shaw’s Crab House on Cabernet Loyalty and Pinot Noir Obsessions
Wine & Spirits Magazine |
Joshua Greene |
Jan 24, 2020
Original Article: "Kat Hawkins of Shaw’s Crab House on Cabernet Loyalty and Pinot Noir Obsessions"

Kat Hawkins, a W&S Best New Sommelier of 2019, left her hometown of Detroit in the fall of 2018 to take over the wine list at Shaw’s Crab House. It’s a Chicago institution, coming on 35 years, with 550 seats and a 300-bottle wine list. Hawkins has been moving that list away from the New World reds that… read more ›

An Inside Look at the Opening Night of RPM Seafood in Chicago
Chicago Today |
Chicago Today |
Jan 24, 2020
Original Article: "An Inside Look at the Opening Night of RPM Seafood in Chicago"

The opening night of RPM Seafood in Chicago featured one million oysters, extravagant decor and several Chicago celebrities. Here’s a glimpse at the evening from “Chicago Today.” Watch RPM Seafood's opening night on Chicago Today. read more ›

11 Chicago Restaurants Serving Plant-Based Food That Doesn’t Suck
InsideHook |
Amanda Topper |
Jan 24, 2020
Original Article: "11 Chicago Restaurants Serving Plant-Based Food That Doesn’t Suck"

We're not talking Impossible and Beyond. We're talking veggies done right. Earlier this month, we predicted that plant-based dieting would be the biggest health trend of 2020. To clarify: plant-based isn’t all-encompassing like vegetarianism or veganism; rather, it’s a commitment to eating a mostly omnivorous diet while still allowing room for lean meats and fish from time to… read more ›

RPM Seafood opens tonight with stunning views of Chicago River
Chicago Tribune |
NICK KINDELSPERGER |
Jan 23, 2020
Original Article: "RPM Seafood opens tonight with stunning views of Chicago River"

How many RPM restaurants can one neighborhood hold? That’s the question we’ll all find out soon as RPM Seafood opens tonight in River North. Even with two other RPM restaurants (RPM Steak and RPM Italian) within walking distance, Lettuce Entertain You President R.J. Melman says he’s not worried. “Clearly, we are always concerned that we… read more ›

Here are the restaurants and chefs the Banchet Awards recognized as tops this year
Crain's Chicago Business |
Sarah Zimmerman |
Jan 22, 2020
Original Article: "Here are the restaurants and chefs the Banchet Awards recognized as tops this year"

Sixteen of Chicago's top chefs and restaurants took home honors at the annual Jean Banchet Awards, which celebrates Chicago's culinary scene. Tasting-menu restaurant Smyth, run by husband and wife John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, was named Restaurant of the Year. Chef of the Year also went to a husband-and-wife team, Anna and David Posey, who run… read more ›

R. J. Melman prepares Lettuce Entertain You for the next generation with virtual restaurant brands
Nation's Restaurant News |
Mike Dempsey |
Jan 22, 2020
Original Article: "R. J. Melman prepares Lettuce Entertain You for the next generation with virtual restaurant brands"

Meet the technology innovators on Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2020 Power List R.J. Melman is well prepared for the task of leading Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, or LEYE, into the future. After all, he grew up with the Chicago-based multi-concept group. The 38-year-old son of LEYE founder Richard Melman has been president of the company since… read more ›

6 Healthy Food & Drink Offerings That Don't Skimp On Indulgence
CS Modern Luxury |
Jennimai Nguyen |
Jan 21, 2020
Original Article: "6 Healthy Food & Drink Offerings That Don't Skimp On Indulgence"

Kick off 2020 in delicious—and healthy— style with six new resolution worthy Chicago culinary offerings. WHOLE-ISTIC NUTRITION Who says a healthy lifestyle means having to leave your couch? With the rise of food delivery services, there’s never a shortage of couriers waiting to bring your latest craving to your door. For homebodies on the Whole30… read more ›

Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi Lead 2020 Windy City Smokeout Lineup
Rolling Stone |
Joseph Hudak |
Jan 21, 2020
Original Article: "Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi Lead 2020 Windy City Smokeout Lineup"

Chicago country music and barbecue festival also features Riley Green, Hailey Whitters, and Cody Johnson Chicago’s annual Windy City Smokeout returns for its eighth installment in July, with Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, and Jon Pardi headlining the three-day country music and barbecue festival. Set for July 10th through 12th, the event assembles 20 pitmasters from around the country —… read more ›

Jean Banchet Awards Winners 2020
Chicago Tribune |
Phil Vettel |
Jan 21, 2020
Original Article: "Jean Banchet Awards give top honors to Anna and David Posey, Smyth restaurant, Oriole group"

The annual Jean Banchet Awards, held Sunday night at Venue Six10, heaped praise on more than a dozen chefs, restaurants and beverage professionals. Winners included Otto Phan’s Kyoten, for Best New Restaurant, Craig Harzewski of Brindille for Pastry Chef of the Year, Jess Galli of Middle Brow Bungalow for Rising Chef of the Year, Tatum… read more ›

The 12 Essential Sushi Restaurants in Chicago
Eater Chicago |
Kat Odell and Jeffy Mai |
Jan 8, 2020
Original Article: "The 12 Essential Sushi Restaurants in Chicago"

Where to find the Windy City's finest fish From fat-marbled otoro to delicate live scallop, Chicago chefs continue to up their game when it comes to sushi. And in the last couple of years, the local sushi scene has become stronger than ever thanks to lauded Juno chef B.K. Park’s quality-minded Mako, in addition to Austin export and James… read more ›

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340