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.

1970
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
1980
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.

1990
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
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.

2010
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?
Lettuce Entertain You Press Kit

Press Releases

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 ›

Three Dots and a Dash Announces Fall / Winter 2017 Menu

Nov 02, 2017

Seasonal Ingredients & Inventive Techniques from Beverage Director Kevin Beary CHICAGO, IL – November 2, 2017 – Three Dots and a Dash’s new fall / winter menu launches today, featuring modern and revitalized versions of classic tiki cocktails from Beverage Director Kevin Beary. The seasonal menu highlights winter spices and rich flavors, and it incorporates Midwest… read more ›

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 ›

BEATRIX MARKET OPENING IN THE LOOP TODAY

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 ›

In The News

Best 2017 Holiday Restaurant Gift Card Deals In Minnesota

CBS Minnesota |
Jason DeRusha |
Nov 21, 2017
Original Article: "Best 2017 Holiday Restaurant Gift Card Deals In Minnesota"

It’s the best time of the year if you’re looking for a great deal on restaurant gift cards. Spend $100, get $20. Spend $100, get $25. Spend $25, get $5. It’s the perfect way to say “thank you” to coworkers, or your babysitter, or a great gift for family and friends. I’ve compiled a list of the… read more ›

6 Chicago restaurants offering takeout for Thanksgiving

Redeye Chicago |
Sadé Carpenter |
Nov 21, 2017
Original Article: "6 Chicago restaurants offering takeout for Thanksgiving"

Sure, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every single year, but somehow it always manages to creep up and catch us unprepared. If you want to take it easy and avoid the last-minute shopping scramble—and also don’t feel like getting dressed up for dining out—we’ve got a few restaurants that’ll do most of the… read more ›

Booth One Returns to Chicago

Hospitality Design |
Will Speros |
Nov 21, 2017
Original Article: "Booth One Returns to Chicago"

Booth One is set to make its return to Chicago within the walls of the Ambassador Chicago hotel. The storied dining space is reimagined by the design team from locally based restaurant company Lettuce Entertain You with a more youthful and convivial flair. The 225-seat eatery hosts more than half a dozen private dining spaces that evoke a different aspect… read more ›

Inside the Revamped Pump Room, Now Open From Lettuce Entertain You

Eater Chicago |
Ashok Selvam |
Nov 20, 2017
Original Article: "Inside the Revamped Pump Room, Now Open From Lettuce Entertain You"

While Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s Rich Melman couldn’t keep The Pump Room’s name, he hopes to bring back some memories when he official reopens the venerable Gold Coast space. LEYE has dubbed the restaurant Booth One, a nod to the VIP table inside the 225-seat dining room inside the Ambassador Chicago at 1301 N. State Parkway. The Pump Room… read more ›

Booth One, the reimagined Pump Room, opens

Chicago Tribune |
Phil Vettel |
Nov 20, 2017
Original Article: "Booth One, the reimagined Pump Room, opens Thursday"

Booth One, the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises restaurant on the site of the venerable Pump Room, opens today. (About 100 LEYE gold-level frequent diners were able to experience the new restaurant on Wednesday night; Thursday is the general-public opening.) Housed in the Ambassador Chicago (1301 N. State Parkway), Booth One represents something of a homecoming for LEYE founder Rich Melman, who owned… read more ›

Media Contact

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