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

Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba! is Bringing Tapas and Sangria to River North
Feb 09, 2021

After 35 years, Cafe-Ba-Ba-Reeba!, the iconic tapas bar in Lincoln Park, is getting a little sister with the opening of Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba! (441 N. Clark St.) in Chicago’s River North this Thursday, February 11. The new Ba-Ba-Reeba! outpost is open for dine-in, carryout and delivery and features a menu of Cafe-Ba-Ba-Reeba!’s greatest hits from signature… read more ›

Introducing Papagus Taverna
Jan 21, 2021

Papagus Taverna is opening Thursday, January 21 and will be serving classic Greek dishes available for carryout and delivery in downtown Chicago. Papagus, a Greek Taverna from Lettuce Entertain You, first opened its doors in Chicago’s River North in January 1992, with a second location that opened in Oak Brook in 1997, both restaurants were… read more ›

Introducing Beatrix Virtual Market
Jan 13, 2021

Introducing Beatrix Virtual Market: a one-stop (virtual) shop where you can mix-and-match chef-prepared and healthful entrees, sides, soups for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Click here to order Beatrix Virtual Market for pick-up. Click here to order Beatrix Virtual Market for delivery. Order up for yourself one night, or stock up the fridge for the whole… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises & Barilla Partner to Launch Barilla Italian Pasteria in Chicago, Available Exclusively on Grubhub 
Dec 14, 2020

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) is launching a new virtual restaurant in partnership with Barilla, the world's largest pasta producer, available exclusively on Grubhub. Barilla Italian Pasteria is now open, dishing out hearty, comforting pasta dishes, delivered right to your door. For every order placed from now through the end of March, a portion of… read more ›

B Square Pizza is Now Delivering Detroit-style Pizza to Downtown Chicago
Dec 09, 2020

Due to the success of B Square Pizza in Chicago’s Northern Suburbs, Lettuce Entertain You has expanded the Detroit-style pizza concept to downtown Chicago! The delivery-only outpost in the city kicks off Wednesday, December 9. B Square is now delivering seven specialty pizzas plus fresh salads, boneless chicken wings made from organic chicken, baked pastas… read more ›

Introducing Coastal Soups: From the Team Behind Summer House Santa Monica
Dec 03, 2020

Just in time for soup season, Summer House Santa Monica is introducing its new Coastal Soups pop-up on Thursday, December 3, a carryout and delivery-only concept offering 8 rotating varieties of soups paired with house-baked breads. Operating out of the Summer House kitchen, Coastal Soups presents comfort by the cup or quart, showcasing the restaurant’s… read more ›

Introducing Gin and Juice: Now Open!
Nov 20, 2020

Introducing Gin and Juice, a virtual cocktail bar from award-winning Beverage Director, Kevin Beary and the team behind Three Dots and a Dash, opening in Chicago today. Gin and Juice is a carryout and delivery-only concept that gives you the chance to mix up the best version of your favorite classic cocktails at home. Gin… read more ›

Aba - Austin Launches Carryout, Delivery and Weekend Brunch
Nov 19, 2020

Austin’s new Mediterranean restaurant Aba is now offering carry-out and delivery in addition to their dine-in options at their location on South Congress Avenue at Music Lane. Favorites from the dinner, brunch and dessert menu are available to order for carry-out by calling the restaurant or placing through their website at https://www.abarestaurants.com/austin/order-online/. Select pre-packaged wine,… read more ›

Introducing RPM Wine Club Launching Just in Time for the Holiday Season
Nov 11, 2020

Launching this month, RPM Wine Club provides wines hand-selected by Wine Director, Richard Hanauer and the RPM Restaurants’ team of sommeliers and features vintages that are currently drinking at their potentials. Each month, guests receive a case containing three unique bottles, with descriptions and tasting notes that describe the wines and why they were chosen. … read more ›

Introducing Bill’s Original Tavern Pizza
Oct 30, 2020

Bill’s Original Tavern Pizza is opening Friday, October 30 and will dish out Chicago Tavern-style pizza for carryout and delivery in downtown Chicago. Bill’s features a menu of appetizers like Parmesan French fries with garlic aioli, fresh salads, a variety of classic and modern thin crust pizzas, Italian-style sandwiches and desserts. Named for RPM Restaurant’s… read more ›

B Square Pizza Brings Detroit-style Pizza to Chicago’s Northern Suburbs
Oct 01, 2020

B Square Pizza opens Thursday, October 1 and will dish out Detroit-style pizza made from fresh ingredients for contactless delivery to Chicago’s northern suburbs. In addition to more than ten specialty pizzas, the menu includes fresh salads, crispy chicken wings made from organic chicken, baked pastas and housemade chocolate chip cookies and hot hand pies… read more ›

Aba Announces Austin Opening for October 1
Sep 22, 2020

AUSTIN, TX     Aba, the celebrated Mediterranean restaurant, is thrilled to announce their official opening in Austin, TX at Music Lane set for Thursday, October 1, with service beginning at 4:00 p.m. The expansion into Austin marks Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ (LEYE) first restaurant opening in Texas and Aba’s second location. Created by Executive Partner… read more ›

Introducing the First Ever Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Week
Sep 10, 2020

For the very first time, your favorite Lettuce Entertain You restaurants in the Chicagoland area are coming together to bring you Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Week. From Monday, September 28 - Sunday, October 4, enjoy special three-course lunch, brunch and dinner menus for dine-in and carryout at more than 30 participating Lettuce restaurants.  For the… read more ›

Tallboy Taco in Streeterville Opens September 2, 2020
Sep 01, 2020

Tallboy Taco (676 N. St. Clair St.) opens Wednesday, September 2 in Streeterville. Inspired by the culture of California street tacos, the fast-casual restaurant serves tacos on hand-pressed corn tortillas using local white corn masa. To celebrate the opening, Tallboy Taco is offering one free taco with purchase, for in-restaurant dining and carryout all day… read more ›

Bar Ramone Re-Opens Thursday, August 20
Aug 19, 2020

Bar Ramone is re-opening Thursday, August 20 offering patio and limited dining room seating! The River North wine bar is excited to be back dishing out a menu of Spanish-style tapas, wine, sangria and cocktails. Make a reservation at Bar Ramone via Tock    View the Bar Ramone menu.  Many of your favorite menu items… read more ›

Wow Bao is Celebrating National Bao Day with Free Eats Delivered Exclusively by DoorDash
Aug 13, 2020

Saturday, August 22 is National Bao Day! Wow Bao, the fast-casual Asian concept known for its signature steamed buns, is celebrating by offering guests free eats up to $15 per order, plus free delivery, exclusively via DoorDash.  The first 500 people who order delivery from select Chicago Wow Bao locations via DoorDash will receive up… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You is Bringing Back Ben Pao
Jul 31, 2020

Ben Pao is back serving up a menu of its greatest hits available for carryout and delivery Wednesday - Sunday for lunch and dinner, with dining room and patio service at Hub 51 to follow. The menu will include more than a dozen signature family-style dishes like Ben Pao Egg Rolls, Cool Peanut Noodles, Crispy… read more ›

El Segundo Sol Re-opens for Dine-in, Carryout & Delivery
May 22, 2020

El Segundo Sol is excited to welcome guests back safely to the dining room and patio for lunch and dinner service from 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM every day. Reservations are required for dine-in and patio. Click here to make your reservation.  The restaurant is introducing a new All Day Menu featuring authentic Mexican favorites… read more ›

Lettuce Delivered: Enjoy Dishes From Multiple Restaurants, All Delivered at Once
May 18, 2020

Do you miss visiting your favorite Lettuce Entertain You restaurants? We miss you too! Introducing Lettuce Delivered! A new delivery offering for Chicago’s northern suburbs from Lettuce Entertain You that brings together the greatest hits from some of your favorite Lettuce restaurants, delivered right to your doorstep.  Place your order for Lettuce Delivered online via… read more ›

Pizzeria Portofino Returns for Delivery & Carryout Five Days a Week
May 13, 2020

Starting today, Chicago's favorite riverfront spot, Pizzeria Portofino, is returning for delivery and carryout every Wednesday – Sunday from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Enjoy Portofino favorites such as Charred Pepperoni and Pugliese Pizzas, Meatball Parmigiana and Baked Rigatoni Amatriciana for your next picnic or night out at home. Three different Spritz Kits (Venetian, Amalfi and Portofino), the signature Portofino Pils from 18th Street Brewery and nearly two dozen wines… read more ›

In The News

Top Bartenders Deliver Drinks to Your Door
Chicago Magazine |
Amy Cavanaugh |
Feb 23, 2021
Original Article: "Top Bartenders Deliver Drinks to Your Door"

Miss having a pro mix your cocktail? Try one of these new delivery services. 1. Gin & Juice Three Dots and a Dash beverage director Kevin Beary is all about classic cocktails at this new River North carryout and delivery bar. Individual kits for drinks like dirty martinis include a mini bottle of booze plus… read more ›

Beyond Deep Dish: 12 New Chicago Pizzas to Try Now
Better Magazine |
Julie Chernoff |
Feb 9, 2021
Original Article: "Beyond Deep Dish: 12 New Chicago Pizzas to Try Now"

Obsessing about pizza is not new to me. Growing up in Michigan, I was all about Buddy’s Detroit-style pizza, the crispy-airy-cheesy crust, spicy pepperoni nestled under a swath of mozzarella and brick cheeses, with a lick of sweet tomato sauce layered on top. I could even occasionally appreciate the journeyman Little Caesar’s at a friend’s bowling… read more ›

5 Things to Know About: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Restaurant Business |
Heather Lalley |
Jan 29, 2021
Original Article: "5 Things to Know About: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises"

R.J. Melman, president of the Chicago-based multi-concept operator, talks about navigating the pandemic, creating new restaurants and the particular challenges of launching virtual brands. R.J. Melman grew up working in his family’s restaurants, starting as a busser and moving up to a prep cook and restaurant manager. Since 2017, he has served as president of Chicago-based… read more ›

The Chicago pizza boom expands with 7 more great new spots — from tavern to Indian and beyond
The Chicago Tribune |
Nick Kindelsperger |
Jan 26, 2021
Original Article: "The Chicago pizza boom expands with 7 more great new spots — from tavern to Indian and beyond"

It might be a new year with a new president, but one thing remains the same: Chicagoans will always eat more pizza. Perhaps the pandemic has us all craving the comfort of dough, sauce and melted cheese, but even though we cataloged a surprising number of new pizzerias a few months ago, more kept opening. So… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You Revives Long-Shuttered Concepts as Virtual Brands
Restaurant Business |
Heather Lalley |
Jan 25, 2021
Original Article: "Lettuce Entertain You Revives Long-Shuttered Concepts as Virtual Brands"

Lots of restaurants are creating new, virtual concepts out of their kitchens during the pandemic. But multi-concept operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), which has been in business for 50 years, is spinning new, virtual concepts out of old ones. In recent months, the Chicago-based restaurant group has launched several virtual brands out of existing kitchens, reviving old concepts… read more ›

Nostalgic for that gyro you ate 15 years ago? Lettuce is bringing back iconic brands.
Crain's Chicago |
Ally Marotti |
Jan 22, 2021
Original Article: "Nostalgic for that gyro you ate 15 years ago? Lettuce is bringing back iconic brands."

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has revived several of its extinct but beloved restaurant brands in recent months, hoping to tap into customers’ pandemic cravings for comfort food and nostalgia. So far, the Chicago-based restaurant group has brought back menu offerings from Ben Pao, a Chinese restaurant that closed in 2011; Vong’s Thai Kitchen, which operated in River North… read more ›

Fish and Chips with Champagne
Wine Spectator |
Hilary Sims |
Dec 14, 2020
Original Article: "A Perfect Match: Fish and Chips with Champagne"

RPM Seafood’s recipe for crispy Dover sole, served with potato wedges and tartar sauce, is a perfect excuse to break out that bottle of bubbly you’ve been saving “I like things that are as difficult as possible,” says Bob Broskey, executive chef of RPM Seafood in Chicago. “I don’t like to be bored.” When the… read more ›

11 Gin Cocktail Recipes You Absolutely Need to Perfect at Home This Winter
Departures |
Jonah Flicker |
Dec 14, 2020
Original Article: "11 Gin Cocktail Recipes You Absolutely Need to Perfect at Home This Winter"

Over the past year, as people have been mixing drinks at home more, gin has seen a resurgence in popularity. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, gin has emerged as one of the fastest growing spirits categories,” said Tom Spaven, brand director North America at Bombay Sapphire. “Consumers are reimagining how they’re drinking at home with… read more ›

Give the Gift of Cocktails (and More) From Your Favorite Bars This Holiday Season

With the cold weather blanketing much of the country, bars everywhere are closing patios and indoor dining due to COVID restrictions, leaving to-go cocktails as one of their only sources of revenue until the pandemic is over. In response, many bars are thinking beyond single-serving take-home bottlings and getting extra inventive with their holiday offerings.… read more ›

Lettuce Entertain You launches Coastal Soups, new virtual soup to-go spot
The Chicago Tribune |
Nick Kindelsperger |
Dec 3, 2020
Original Article: "Lettuce Entertain You launches Coastal Soups, new virtual soup to-go spot"

We are getting rather used to hearing about new virtual restaurants — places that offer carryout and delivery but don’t have a physical dining room. While the pandemic has caused them to become far more common, they have changed slightly as the year has gone on. At first, places focused on pizza; but with the… read more ›

Gin and Juice: top-shelf recreation, gift ideas
Chicago Star |
Daniel Patton |
Nov 25, 2020
Original Article: "Gin and Juice: top-shelf recreation, gift ideas"

Gin and Juice is a new delivery and carryout service that can quench a group thirst with the click of a mouse. Created by award-winning Beverage Director Kevin Beary and the team behind Three Dots and a Dash, the virtual cocktail bar offers dozens of traditional and customized ready-to-mix cocktail kits. From mixers and syrups to… read more ›

2020 Holiday Gift Guide: ‘Treat Yourself’ Gifts You Deserve This Season
Better Magazine |
Macaire Douglas |
Nov 25, 2020
Original Article: "2020 Holiday Gift Guide: ‘Treat Yourself’ Gifts You Deserve This Season"

It’s been a tough year — so go ahead and treat yourself. Here are 10 gifts that will help you feel pampered, relaxed and cozy this holiday season.   RPM Wine Club RPM Restaurants Support local restaurants with the RPM Wine Club, where you can have wines hand-selected by Wine Director, Richard Hanauer, and the… read more ›

The 16 Best Boozy Gifts for the Serious Drinker
InsideHook |
Kirk Miller |
Nov 24, 2020
Original Article: "The 16 Best Boozy Gifts for the Serious Drinker"

This was a hard year to be a serious drinker. Oh, it wasn’t hard to drink. It was just sometimes a little hard to do more than pop open a hard seltzer or pour a whiskey on the rocks and begin angrily muttering to ourselves. (We did all of that. A lot). But sometimes we found… read more ›

28 Chicago Restaurants That Have Thanksgiving Dinner Covered
Thrillist Chicago |
Meredith Heil |
Nov 19, 2020
Original Article: "28 Chicago Restaurants That Have Thanksgiving Dinner Covered"

Between the state’s recent COVID surge, looming lock-down orders, and the Bears’ depressing mid-season outlook, preparing a massive home cooked Thanksgiving dinner for all your extended loved ones to enjoy in front of the television might not be in the cards this year for many Chicagoans. That’s why top notch restaurants around the city are… read more ›

Two new delivery-only pizza spots open in Chicago
Time Out Chicago |
Morgan Olsen |
Nov 18, 2020
Original Article: "Two new delivery-only pizza spots open in Chicago"

In a pizza town like Chicago, there will always be room for more pies. New to the scene this month are two wildly different concepts that are only available to go: Ruth's Handmade Pizza and Bill's Original Tavern Pizza. If you're craving something over-the-top indulgent (who isn't right now?), Ruth's delivers with buttery deep-dish pies that are… read more ›

These Are the Most Beautifully Designed Outdoor Dining Experiences in America
Architectural Digest |
Kristine Hansen |
Nov 11, 2020
Original Article: "Most Beautifully Designed Outdoor Dining Experiences in America"

With COVID-19 (rightfully) cautioning some diners against eating indoors, restaurants with beautiful outdoor-dining spaces are well positioned to capture appetites and serve as a dose of eye candy during a lingering meal. Some restaurants put as much focus into designing their outdoor-dining spaces as they do their interiors. In doing so, they sidestep what everyone… read more ›

The 30 Most Essential Austin Food Experiences
Thrillist Austin |
Molly Moltzen |
Nov 10, 2020
Original Article: "The 30 Most Essential Austin Food Experiences"

Austin is a city absolutely packed with dining out options. Just Google all the choices in a given area, and the number of results is bound to lead you into a hunger-based anxiety spiral. Don’t worry though—we wouldn’t be the live music city without being able to put together a killer list of greatest hits,… read more ›

Where to order Thanksgiving pies — 24 Chicago spots to get your pumpkin, pecan or sweet potato fix
The Chicago Tribune |
Holly Baumbach |
Nov 6, 2020
Original Article: "Where to order Thanksgiving pies — 24 Chicago spots to get your pumpkin, pecan or sweet potato fix"

Everyone needs a little slice of heaven this Thanksgiving, and these Chicago pie shops, bakeries and restaurants are ready to serve. Traditionalists will be happy to find plenty of pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan, apple and cherry here. But for those who want to go deeper into pie territory, there are chess, chocolate, cranberry and lots… read more ›

Where to find Thanksgiving takeout in D.C., whether you’re dining solo or with a small group

The Thanksgiving holiday usually revolves around travel and home-cooked meals, but this year is an exception. If the coronavirus pandemic has you staying in town, and if you’re completely sick of meal prep at this point, you can still enjoy a plate of turkey with all the trimmings. Here’s where to find a Thanksgiving dinner to-go in… read more ›

Support Chicago Restaurants: Where to Find a Hearty Bowl of Soup
Red Tricycle |
Samantha Lande |
Nov 6, 2020
Original Article: "Support Chicago Restaurants: Where to Find a Hearty Bowl of Soup"

Slurp it. Stir it. Make waves. Blow on it. Nibble the good stuff and use a straw for the rest. No wonder kids love soup; it’s so fun to eat. And it keeps us warm and cozy, which right now is a very good thing. (Can you even believe we’ve already seen snow?) In Chicago,… read more ›

Media Contact

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