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

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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 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

Press Kits

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

Press Releases

The National Restaurant Association Announces New Board Officers for 2018

Jan 25, 2018

Washington, D.C. — The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced the swearing in of officers to its Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, respectively. Jay Stieber, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, will serve as Chair of the NRA board, and Sam Facchini, co-founder/co-owner and… read more ›

Sushi-san is Now Open

Dec 26, 2017

From the team behind Ramen-san comes Sushi-san – serving up fresh fish with fresher beats – now open at 63 W. Grand Avenue in River North. With crispy hand rolls, bincho-tan roasted meats and ice-cold beer – this is not your typical sushi joint. Sushi-san uses the best ingredients it can get its hands on… read more ›

Beatrix Market DePaul Loop Campus Opening Spring 2018

Dec 11, 2017

Neighborhood grab-and-go market, salad bar, pizza counter and lounge opens at DePaul University Loop Campus This spring, Beatrix Market will open its second stand-alone location in the Loop (23 E. Jackson Blvd) and will be the fourth of its kind in Chicago. The concept was created by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Founder Rich Melman, Executive… read more ›

WOW BAO SET TO LAUNCH THE FIRST FULLY AUTOMATED DINING EXPERIENCE IN CHICAGO

Nov 17, 2017

Wow Bao, the fast-casual concept specializing in savory steamed buns, pan-seared dumplings, and rice & noodle bowls is opening its sixth Chicago location at 1 West Division Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The next-generation store, opening December 1, is set to become Chicago’s first and only fully automated dining experience. read more ›

The Return of an Icon: Booth One Is Now Open

Nov 16, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Booth One (1301 N. State Parkway) is a classic Chicago restaurant reinvented by the Lettuce Entertain You team of partners Molly Melman, Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky, Doug Psaltis and Rich Melman and opens today at the Ambassador Chicago in the Gold Coast. The restaurant is being reintroduced into one of the most… read more ›

In The News

9 Must-Try Veggie Burgers in Chicago

Zagat Chicago |
Matt Kirouac |
Feb 20, 2018
Original Article: "9 Must-Try Veggie Burgers in Chicago"

As evidenced by crowds at places like Au Cheval, Kuma’s Corner and Shake Shack, Chicago is clearly a burger-loving town. But in recent years, the city has branched out beyond beef when it comes to that burger obsession, as more and more restaurants implement meat-free options between the buns. Chicago’s veggie burger scene is more robust than ever, as… read more ›

The Best French Restaurants In Chicago

The Infatuation |
Sam Faye and Adrian Kane |
Feb 12, 2018
Original Article: "The Best French Restaurants In Chicago"

French food is full of butter, cheese, and puff pastry - which means it’s pretty much the dream. Luckily, we happen to know the best spots to get it around the city. Whether you’re planning a casual dinner with friends, a fancy-ish date night, or a special occasion meal, use our guide to find exactly… read more ›

5 of the most romantic restaurants in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Review-Journal |
Heidi Knapp Rinella |
Feb 9, 2018
Original Article: "5 of the most romantic restaurants in Las Vegas"

Eiffel Tower Restaurant Everything about dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant is romantic, from the hand-in-hand stroll to the dedicated elevator to your entrance to the softly lit, glass-walled restaurant and, if you’re lucky (or really plan ahead), a view of the Bellagio fountains. The French-inflected food measures up nicely, such as the selection of… read more ›

Destination dining rooms with elevated views

USA Today |
|
Feb 8, 2018
Original Article: "Destination dining rooms with elevated views"

Elevated, often revolving restaurants offer scenic views, romantic ambiance and fine food. Whether you've yet to make a Valentine's date reservation or love city skylines, these restaurants at the top of landmark buildings should be on the top of your list. From the the 95th floor of Chicago's John Hancock Center to the second floor… read more ›

15 of Chicago’s Most Romantic Restaurants for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Make it Better |
Julie Chernoff |
Feb 7, 2018
Original Article: "15 of Chicago’s Most Romantic Restaurants for Valentine’s Day and Beyond"

Romance isn’t dead — it just needs a little nudge now and then to keep it alive. Every year, in the weeks before Valentine’s Day, the romance machine starts up. Tables are reserved, flowers are arranged, and chocolates are bought. Restaurants are full to bursting and couples feel the love on Feb. 14. But on… read more ›

Media Contact

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