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 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

Ramen-san Fulton Market Opens Today

May 23, 2018

The second location of popular River North ramen shop, Ramen-San is headed to Fulton Market at 219 N. Green Street. From R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Chef Doug Psaltis, Ramen-San Fulton Market will bring the "San" vibe and energy to the West Loop starting today. The menu introduces a handful of new items available exclusively at the new… read more ›

Opening Soon: Chef CJ Jacobson's Aba Plus The Dalcy

May 09, 2018

We are excited to announce Aba, a new restaurant with a rooftop patio from Chef CJ Jacobson and the team from Lettuce Entertain You restaurants opening late spring at 302 N. Green Street in Chicago's Fulton Market neighborhood. In addition to Aba, the restaurant will share its third-floor space with The Dalcy, Lettuce’s largest private event hall. About Aba: Aba (which means "father" in Hebrew)… read more ›

PEAPOD PARTNERS WITH WILDFIRE and BIG BOWL TO CREATE NEW MEAL KITS

Apr 12, 2018

Chicago, IL - April 12, 2018 — Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer, announces the expansion of its popular meal kit line with its first ever restaurant collaboration. In 2014, Peapod began offering a variety of meal kits, and today continues to innovate with a partnership with two Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises® restaurants including Big Bowl®, known… read more ›

BEATRIX MARKET DEPAUL LOOP OPENING TODAY

Apr 04, 2018

CHICAGO, IL. – April 3, 2018–  Beatrix Market is now open on DePaul’s Loop campus (23 E. Jackson Blvd). This is the second standalone location and is the fourth of its kind in Chicago. The concept was created by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Founder Rich Melman, Executive Partner and Divisional President Marc Jacobs and Chef… read more ›

RPM RESTAURANTS TO OPEN FOUR-LEVEL CHICAGO WATERFRONT PROPERTY

Mar 12, 2018

CHICAGO – RPM On The Water, a dramatic four-level restaurant and events venue, is slated to open on the north side of Chicago’s downtown riverfront at 321 N. Clark Street. This marks the fourth collaboration for the RPM Restaurants team of partners, celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic, acclaimed chef Doug Psaltis and siblings R.J.,… read more ›

In The News

Lettuce Entertain You’s Ramen-san Is Now Open in the West Loop

Eater Chicago |
Ashok Selvam |
May 24, 2018
Original Article: "Lettuce Entertain You’s Ramen-san Is Now Open in the West Loop"

Take a tour and check out the new bowls Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises increases its West Loop/Fulton Market footprint today as Rich Melman’s company has opened Ramen-san in between Randolph Street and Fulton Market. Ramen-san debuted in 2014 in River North, giving the area a playful spot with soup, Japanese dumplings, and late-night fried rice. The new location… read more ›

10 of Our Favorite Under-the-Radar Chicago Restaurants

Bon Appetit |
Staff |
May 22, 2018
Original Article: "10 of Our Favorite Under-the-Radar Chicago Restaurants"

We love a good restaurant hot list, but many of Chicago’s true culinary gems—slinging tasty, soulful eats without the hype—are hiding in plain sight. From intriguing newcomers that have yet to explode to cozy, time-worn haunts, these 10 eateries might not enjoy the same attention of those occupying space on the West Loop’s white-hot Restaurant… read more ›

Chefs try to hook diners on seafood with limited-time offers

Restaurant Hospitality |
Fern Glazer |
May 17, 2018
Original Article: "Chefs try to hook diners on seafood with limited-time offers"

American consumers have become more frequent seafood eaters in recent years, in part due to limited-time offers operators push around Lent, end-of-year holidays and seasonality, according to the latest research from Datassential. To lure diners to order more seafood year-round, chefs and operators are taking a variety of approaches to limited-time seafood offers.   Chilled… read more ›

Aba Adds Another Member to the Lettuce Entertain You Family

Chicago Magazine |
Anthony Todd |
May 17, 2018
Original Article: "Aba Adds Another Member to the Lettuce Entertain You Family"

Without meaning to, chef CJ Jacobson is about to create a little nuclear family of restaurants. The name of his first Chicago spot, Ema (which opened in 2016), is adapted from the Hebrew for mother, and his upcoming spot, Aba (302 N. Green St., Fulton Market), means father. The adjacent new events space, The Dalcy, is named for his partner’s grandma. And… read more ›

12 Luscious Lobster Rolls in Chicago

Eater Chicago |
Jeffy Mai |
May 16, 2018
Original Article: "12 Luscious Lobster Rolls in Chicago"

Shaw's Crab House A Chicago classic for more than three decades, Shaw’s treats the lobster roll with the same reverence as the rest of its seafood selection. Big chunks of sweet meat are mixed with Hellmann’s mayo and diced celery and then stuffed into a buttery, housemade brioche bun. Order it during lunch hours in… read more ›

Media Contact

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