Tao, Lettuce Entertain You partner for planned Chicago private club

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Tao Group Hospitality have announced plans for a first-time collaboration on a private members-only club in Chicago, the companies announced Friday.

Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You restaurants and New York-based Tao Group Hospitality said the new venue will be in Chicago’s River North neighborhood with a scheduled opening in late 2023.

“This members club will have more of a culinary focus,” a LEYE spokesperson said, adding that few other details were available.

The as-yet-unnamed venue’s interior will be designed by Joyce Wang of Joyce Wang Studio, which has offices in Hong Kong and London and specializes in luxury hospitality.

“I have admired Lettuce and have been friends with the Melmans for almost 20 years,” said Noah Tepperberg, co-CEO of Tao Group, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working together and think this will be one of the country's most exciting membership clubs.”

R.J. Melman, president of Lettuce Entertain You, said: “We are excited to collaborate with the Tao Group to open this private club in downtown Chicago. We believe this project will bring a new, curated social and dining experience to our community.”

LEYE, founded in 1971 with the R.J. Grunts concept, owns, manages and licenses more than 110 establishments in California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Tao Group Hospitality acquired Hakkasan Group in April 2021. The combined company operates more than 70 locations in over 20 markets across five continents and features a collection of hospitality brands. Those include TAO, Hakkasan, OMNIA, Marquee, LAVO, Beauty & Essex, Yauatcha, Cathédrale, Ling Ling, Wet Republic, Little Sister, The Highlight Room and Jewel. Tao Group Hospitality is part of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.

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