Top celebrity hangouts of ’13: Paris Club at No. 1

Top celebrity hangouts of ’13: Paris Club at No. 1

Chicago Tribune |
Dec 17, 2013

As if there was ever any doubt.

Paris Club finished first in the “Top Celebrity Hangouts” rankings for the second year in a row, thanks in large part to its exclusive upstairs club, Studio Paris. This means the Melman siblings, R.J., Molly and Jerrod, owned the top two venues on this year’s list: No. 1-ranked Paris Club and No. 2-ranked RPM Italian.

The annual rankings are based on the number of celebrity sightings and star power. Rounding out the list was No. 3 Chicago Cut Steakhouse, No. 4 Sunda (ranked No. 1 in 2010 and 2011) and No. 5 Siena Tavern. Here’s a look at what made Paris Club’s restaurant and club the go-to for bold names in Chicago:

Opened: 2011

Spotted: Mick Jagger, Lady Gaga, Drake, Miley Cyrus, Bill Murray, Matthew Perry, Lil Jon, Jason Derulo, Nas, Dennis Rodman, Evander Holyfield, George Lucas, R. Kelly, Michael Bay, Michael Shannon, Steve Aoki, Ellie Goulding, Scottie Pippen, Jack Osbourne, Mark Salling, AnnaSophia Robb, Perry Farrell, Shaun White, The Killers

Regulars: Jenny McCarthy, Carlos Boozer, Lance Briggs

Owners: R.J., Molly and Jerrod Melman, owners of Bub City and Hub 51 and co-owners of RPM Italian.

Back story: The Melman siblings felt French restaurant Brasserie Jo, owned by their father Rich Melman’s Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, didn’t have the same energy as the rest of the vibrant Hubbard street, which includes the siblings’ Hub 51, and decided to take over the space with a new concept. “Halfway through construction, the second floor became available,” said R.J. Melman, noting that the club wasn’t in the original plans. “We thought we could do something new in the club world in Chicago. Somewhere big artists could perform.” Derulo, Robin Thicke and Cee Lo Green have all performed on the club’s makeshift stage, which has also featured world-famous DJs Kaskade, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and Avicii.

Celeb story: “I had no idea what they had planned for my birthday,” R.J. said of his birthday celebration in May. “All of a sudden, carrying out my birthday cake was Ralph Macchio from ‘The Karate Kid.’ The whole staff was dressed in Cobra Kai outfits and Joe Esposito’s ‘You’re the Best (Around)’ was playing. I’m a huge ‘Karate Kid’ fan and Jerrod had arranged for the appearance. It was such a surreal night.”

Draw: Celebs want to hang out at the most popular club in town. And the last two years, that’s been Studio Paris. Both the club and restaurant benefit from the many relationships the Melmans have built with stars — not to mention some celeb wrangling — but reputation seems to be the biggest factor in drawing celebs. “Fortunately, we have a lot of credibility,” R.J. said. “I think through our friends in the industry who live in other cities, we have a great reputation. Celebs who come here know they’re not going to get bothered. We’re not going to ask them for pictures.”

VIP section: The corner booths by the DJ stage tend to be where celebrities sit in Studio Paris. This is so they can be close to the DJ, should they be a fan of whoever it is that’s spinning. “Tiesto was here after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup,” RJ said. “Some of the Blackhawks were in the DJ booth with him the whole night. That’s the most fun I’ve seen them have here.” Celebs also have the option of sitting in a private dining room in the restaurant. “After Lollapalooza, Perry Farrell used a private dining room. He was with The Killers and New Order and Phoenix joined them a little later” without anyone realizing it.

Discount: “We don’t have a protocol,” Jerrod said. “Sometimes we bring them champagne. There’s no one thing we do. A lot of times the people who they’re with are paying. Mick Jagger doesn’t put down an AmEx card. It’s usually someone who they’re with.”

Sample tweet: “Still stuffed from last night’s super-yummy dinner at @ParisClubChi in Chicago last night.” — “Chelsea Lately” panelist and former “Tonight Show” intern Ross Mathews

Dish: “The lobster crostini is one of our more popular dishes,” Jerrod said. “Miley Cyrus’s table had it. Billy Corgan had it. Perry Farrell and The Killers had it and loved it.”

Phil Vettel’s restaurant review: 2 stars

Impact: “Club years are like dog years,” Jerrod said. “One year equals, like, seven. Having a celeb presence keeps the place relevant and fun. It’s part of what makes the place exciting. You might see someone famous. It’s all part of the experience.”

Future outlook: It would seem unlikely Paris Club would finish No. 1 again for a third straight year considering how fickle the scene is, but that’s looking more and more like a possibility. The Melmans’ biggest competition could be themselves. RPM Italian is gaining popularity among celebs, and RPM Steak is on the way next year. And yeah, The Underground is also a threat now that it’s remodeled, but Paris Club will also undergo a makeover of its own beginning in January. The dining room will be given a new look to reflect the trendy French fare, and, just announced Wednesday, the restaurant’s bar and lounge area will be transformed into an as-yet unnamed ramen noodle spot when it reopens around March. Separating the restaurant and the new ramen concept will be a new entrance for Studio Paris. The restaurant will close during the remodeling but re-open in early February. Studio Paris is expected to stay open throughout construction, which is good news for its famous clientele and bad news for its competitors.

Media Contact

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

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
“La Nascosta” Wines, il Porcellino’s Secret Stash
Dec 14, 2017

[caption id="attachment_8851" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Wine Director Ryan Arnold holding a… read more >

How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 14, 2017

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can… read more >

In The Restaurants
Coldbusters & Hot Cocktails for the Chilly Weather
Dec 13, 2017

Braving the Chicago winter just got a little bit easier this year with an array of hot cocktails and… read more >

In The Restaurants
Holiday Happenings Throughout December
Dec 10, 2017

Kids are out on winter break, snow is falling, the smell of baking spices filling the air and… read more >

In The Restaurants
Where to go on Christmas Eve 2017
Dec 10, 2017

As friends and family start trickling in for the holidays, skip the hassle of cooking and take them… read more >

In The Restaurants
Restaurants Open on Christmas Day, 2017
Dec 10, 2017

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but this Christmas skip the stress and let us do the… read more >

How To
8 Wines For Your Next Holiday Party
Dec 9, 2017

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it are parties with family and friends. Instead… read more >

In The Restaurants
Hanukkah Specials 2017
Dec 8, 2017

Hanukkah (Tuesday, December 12 – Wednesday, December 20) is around the corner! After gathering… read more >

How To
Anatomy of a Good Soup
Dec 6, 2017

A piping hot bowl of flavorful soup can fill your body and soul with happiness, if it’s made well… read more >

In The Restaurants
Welcome Our 2017 Newcomers
Dec 5, 2017

2017 is coming to a close, but we opened lots of new doors this year! Lettuce has welcomed newcomers… read more >

In The Restaurants
Celebrate 25 Days of Lettuce with 25 Insta-ready Dishes
Dec 4, 2017

If you didn’t post it on Instagram, did you ever really eat it? We’re counting down the holidays… read more >

How To
12 Days of Holiday Cookies
Dec 4, 2017

‘Twas the first day of the holiday season, one of cheer and treats The best month to warm up by… read more >

How To
How To Build the Ultimate Gingerbread House
Dec 3, 2017

Looking for a fun, holiday activity to keep the kids busy? How about try your hand at building the… read more >

Openings
The First Fully Automated Wow Bao is Now Open
Dec 1, 2017

On December 1, Wow Bao opened Chicago’s first and only fully automated dining experience.… read more >

How To
Recipe: Potato Latkes | adapted from Bub City
Nov 30, 2017

Celebrate Hanukkah by making these home-cook-friendly latkes, adaped from Bub City's own recipe.… read more >

Openings
Been to Booth One Yet? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Must Go
Nov 27, 2017

It's the return of an icon, a classic Chicago restaurant reinvented, one of the most storied dining… read more >

In The Restaurants
Bottoms Up for New Year’s Eve 2017
Nov 26, 2017

There's no better place to ring in 2018 than with a glass of bubbly at a Lettuce destination.… read more >

In The Restaurants
New Year’s Day 2018
Nov 26, 2017

It's the first year of the new year and there's only one way to celebrate - brunch! Stop into one of… read more >

How To
10 Ways to Use Your Lettuce Gift Card
Nov 26, 2017

Your favorite Holiday Promotion is back! For every $100 purchased in Lettuce Entertain You Gift… read more >

In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Nov 25, 2017

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the… read more >

How To
Perfect Pair: Beaujolais, Lowbrow to Highbrow
Nov 23, 2017

Say Oui! because Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive! Classic French bistro, Mon Ami Gabi, is celebrating… read more >

How To
Thanksgiving Leftovers Can Transform Your Brunch
Nov 22, 2017

Everyone knows the real reason you look forward to Thanksgiving is for the leftovers. So don’t… read more >

How To
Recipe: Beatrix’s Charcoal Cocktail, Midnight Flight
Nov 16, 2017

Meet the Midnight Flight, Beatrix's new charcoal cocktail featuring a split base of a smokey mezcal… read more >

How To
How To: Make Thanksgiving Dinner Like a Chef
Nov 15, 2017

In charge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year or simply looking for recipe inspiration? Our… read more >

In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
Nov 13, 2017

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you… read more >

In The Restaurants
Late Night & Live Music with Lettuce
Nov 9, 2017

Night owls rejoice - select Lettuce restaurants and nightclubs offer everything from late-night food… read more >

How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 7, 2017

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our… read more >

In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Nov 3, 2017

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.… read more >

In The Restaurants
What’s Hot in Hot Sauce
Nov 1, 2017

Welcome to Oyster Bah, our East Coast oyster Mecca dedicated to serving up the freshest seafood and… read more >

In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving 2017
Nov 1, 2017

This Thanksgiving, be thankful that you don't have to spend hours slaving away over the stove,… read more >

How To
How to Host Friendsgiving
Nov 1, 2017

Friendsgiving (n): the turkey-centric festive feast held by your chosen family - your friends - to… read more >

In The Restaurants
Fall Harvest’s Best Dishes
Oct 30, 2017

The bounty of fall harvest comes at a time in the year when we are craving the comfort of cool… read more >

How To
Recipe: Ema’s Pumpkin Hummus
Oct 30, 2017

Enjoy your favorite fall ingredient the Mediterranean way and make Ema's Pumpkin Hummus by Chef CJ… read more >

In The Restaurants
Time to Party! Three Dots and a Dash’s New Cocktail Menu Launches
Oct 26, 2017

Three Dots and a Dash’s new cocktail menu is dropping on November 2, and you better believe it's… read more >

In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Oct 24, 2017

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce… read more >

In The Restaurants
All Pumpkin, Everything
Oct 22, 2017

'Tis the season for everyone's favorite fall ingredient, pumpkin. Whether you're preparing pumpkin… read more >

How To
It’s Apple Season: Where To Get Them and Where To Eat Them
Oct 19, 2017

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall… read more >

How To
Recipe: Ramen-san’s Japanese Ol’ Fashioned
Oct 19, 2017

The Japanese Ol' Fashioned at Ramen-san is a new take on the classic American cocktail. Keep your… read more >

How To
Video: How To Crack A Stone Crab
Oct 19, 2017

It's stone crab season at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab! Learn the proper way to crack… read more >

In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Oct 18, 2017

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our… read more >

Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!