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 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

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 ›

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 ›

In The News

The Best Restaurants in Chicago Right Now

Thrillist Chicago |
Kailley Lindman |
Dec 7, 2017
Original Article: "Best Restaurants in Chicago Right Now"

Taking inventory of all that you're thankful for is a rite of passage to close out November and kick off the holidays, and this year we have five brand-spankin'-new Chicago restaurants to add to your list, including a beer and burger joint from the Scofflaw folks and an enchanting new West Loop spot fronted by… read more ›

Time Out Chicago's Best Dishes of 2017

Time Out Chicago |
Morgan Olsen and Elizabeth Atkinson |
Dec 6, 2017
Original Article: "The 100 best dishes and drinks in Chicago"

As we finally loosen our belts, unbutton our pants and reflect on the amazing bites we savored over the past 365 days, we feel quite lucky to live in such a taste-forward town. Chicago chefs and bartenders pulled out all the stops, offering unparalleled experiences we’ll never forget. The best part for you? Dining well doesn’t have to break… read more ›

A new sommelier for Sepia, automation at Wow Bao and more restaurant news

Crain's Chicago Business |
Ari Bendersky |
Dec 1, 2017
Original Article: "A new sommelier for Sepia, automation at Wow Bao and more restaurant news"

Wow Bao opened its first fully automated restaurant Dec. 1 in the Gold Coast. Lettuce Entertain You's fast-casual Asian chain plans to double the number of Wow Bao locations with the new technology (from San Francisco-based Eatsa) throughout 2018. After swiping a credit card (or ordering via mobile app) and entering a name at a… read more ›

The Idle Hands Recipe

VinePair |
Emily Saladino |
Dec 1, 2017
Original Article: "The Idle Hands Recipe"

THE STORY BEHIND THE IDLE HANDS From Chicago’s legendary tiki den Three Dots and a Dash comes this elegant riff on a Banana Daiquiri. The cocktail equivalent of trompe l’oeil, Idle Hands features crystal-clear clarified banana rum and syrup, both of which Three Dots’ team makes in-house. It’s called Idle Hands “as I clearly have too… read more ›

Refining Classic French Bistro Fare

Las Vegas Magazine |
Brock Radke |
Dec 1, 2017
Original Article: "Refining Classic French Bistro Fare"

Welcome to the Las Vegas Strip, land of unnecessary excellence. What does that mean exactly? Let me give you a beautifully composed, fresh and delicious example: Deep red tiles of perfectly seared, fennel-crusted ahi tuna, arranged delicately over a savory dish of tender cavatelli pasta, bright green pesto, roasted root vegetables and flakes of parmeggiano-reggiano… read more ›

Media Contact

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