RJ and Jerrod Melman are teaming up with internationally-acclaimed French Chef Joho (Everest) as they make their next move on the restaurant scene. After successful launches of local and celebrity favorites HUB51 and SUB51 in Chicago and LGO in Santa Monica, this time the focus is on casual French fare. Prompted by an expiring lease this fall at Brasserie JO (59 W. Hubbard), Joho and the Melman brothers are seizing the opportunity to re-concept the space with a goal of reintroducing French food to the next generation of diners.
In late October 2010, Joho and the Melman duo will open a yet-unnamed “casual” and “funky” neighborhood French restaurant and bar in the newly renovated space. A menu of approachable French food will be led by executive chef Tim Graham (currently Executive Chef of Brasserie JO, previously with TRU), as well as notable French-trained chefs Walter Manzke (formerly of Church & State and Bastide in LA) and Doug Psaltis (previously with Alain Ducasse and French Laundry) both of whom are now with the Lettuce Lab.
Brasserie JO, Chicago’s French brasserie and winner of the 1996 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant of the Year, closed its doors at the end of August. Renovations began soon after.