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Christopher Meers

Christopher Meers

Divisional President

Christopher Meers is Divisional President of Mon Ami Gabi, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!, Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba, Summer House Santa Monica, The Oakville Grill & Cellar, El Segundo Sol, Happy Camper Las Vegas, RPM Italian, RPM Steak, RPM Seafood, RPM on the Water, Pizzeria Portofino, Ramen-San, Sushi-San, The Omakase Room at Sushi-San, Three Dots and a Dash, Bub City, Joe’s Live Rosemont, and the Windy City Smokeout.

Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Bethesda, MD, Chris began his restaurant career at the age of 16 by convincing his parents to let him work part-time as a dishwasher at a local steakhouse. This experience led Chris to a variety of restaurant jobs while still in high school, including food runner, sandwich shop manager, and weekend produce vendor, where he learned that “the concepts of good food and good profit go together.”

While attending the University of Maryland, Chris went to work for the restaurant group Capital Management, followed by Ruth’s Chris Steak House. While at Ruth’s Chris, he became immersed in the operational side of the restaurant business while opening and then managing their Cleveland, OH location.

In 1998, Chris was approached by Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and accepted the position of General Manager of Executive Chef/Partner Gabino Sotelino’s Ambria and Mon Ami Gabi restaurants in Chicago. This partnership with Gabino led to the expansion of the Mon Ami Gabi concept to Las Vegas and Bethesda, MD.

This early connection with Chef Gabino remains most important to Chris. He has learned many aspects of the restaurant business from working with Gabino and values his professional and personal relationship with him.

In 2008, Chris collaborated with Lettuce Partners R.J. and Jerrod Melman to open Hub 51 in Chicago’s River North area.

Because of his relationship with R.J. and Jerrod, Chris says, “I have a new understanding of how to reach certain demographics, how important bar business is to the success of a restaurant and how to market in this day and age.”

2010 brought a new restaurant to Chris’ division with the opening of Mexican concept, El Segundo Sol in Las Vegas.

This was followed by more collaboration with R.J. and Jerrod, including the openings of RPM Italian, Bub City, Three Dots and a Dash and Summer House Santa Monica.

In 2014, the partners introduced a new concept, RPM Steak, followed by the opening of Summer House in North Bethesda, MD, and a second RPM Italian location in Washington D.C. 

Chris continued to expand the Lettuce footprint with the opening of Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, a sister concept to the renowned Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. Then, in the following May 2022, Chris and his partners expanded the RPM brand to Las Vegas with the opening of RPM Italian at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. 

In 2023, Chris and his team opened The Oakville Grill & Cellar, a California wine country-inspired restaurant and its private event space, 167 Events in Fulton Market District, followed by two new Summer House locations in Las Vegas and Disney Springs, FL. Most recently, Chris led his team through the first collaboration between Lettuce Entertain You and Happy Hospitality for the opening of Happy Camper’s Las Vegas location. 

Over the past years, Chris’ relationships with Lettuce Founder Rich Melman and CEO Kevin Brown have become especially important to him, as he notes, “I am grateful for the leeway they give me at Lettuce. I can be a true entrepreneur and build restaurants with my own ideas.”

Chris lives in the Chicago area with his wife Melissa and their three children. He enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid fan of Chicago’s sports teams. 

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