Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is planning a new restaurant in a rare downtown Chicago area that lacks an LEYE presence. The massive restaurant company plans on opening a Beatrix Market near DePaul University’s downtown campus at 23 E. Jackson Boulevard. Beatrix Market is the mini spin-off of LEYE’s Beatrix, the company’s all-day restaurant with locations in River North, Streeterville, and Fulton Market. LEYE is targeting an early spring opening inside the former Pazzo’s Bar & Grill.
Beatrix Market is more casual than its sit-down older sibling with plenty of grab-and-go options including cold and hot bars and an extensive coffee and pastry selection. LEYE opened a market in September in the Loop.
This new Beatrix Market is unique as there’s a downstairs bar for juice cocktails and they’ll sell Chicago deep-dish pizza by the slice. The latter should resonate with students at DePaul and nearby John Marshall Law School, said LEYE Executive Partner and Divisional President Marc Jacobs. Beatrix is a brand that’s been popular with millennials, as Jacobs credits the Beatrix Market’s ability to serve fresh and healthy food quickly in a customizable manner.
The restaurant also has a private dining space, and Jacobs wants Beatrix Market as a place to host meetings and business lunches. Comfy seating should also beckon guests to linger if they don’t want to grab and go, according to Jacobs, while unique juice cocktails could make the bar a popular happy hour destination in the late afternoon and early evening.
Besides the deep-dish slices (which is a Chicago pizza rarity), Jacobs said they’ll have new hot and cold bar options including a rotating Mexican options for make-your-own enchiladas, tamales, and more. They may even add a grains bar for the cold side. Those options could also be ideal for a Millennium Park picnic, Jacobs said.
The restaurant bolsters Lettuce Entertain You’s relationship with DePaul. LEYE partner Jerrod Melman is a DePaul alum, and Melman and Jacobs are part of DePaul’s Executive in Residence program for its school of hospitality. Jacobs hopes LEYE’s presence near the school will help “capture future restaurateurs.”
LEYE faces the same challenges as other restaurant groups, Jacobs said, but Beatrix Market is surpassing expectations: “We have been really happy with its performance,” Jacobs said.
Besides Beatrix Market, LEYE also is preparing to open Sushi-san in River North. Come back for updates on both projects.