LINCOLN PARK — The new restaurant at the remodeled Theater on the Lake has its new chef: Cleetus Friedman.
Lakefront Hospitality announced Thursday that Friedman would be the first head chef for the Lakefront, the 125-seat restaurant planned for the renovated Theater on the Lake space at 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive.
"I am thrilled to be working with Lakefront Hospitality Group and John Wrenn to bring this historical venue to life," Friedman said. "We have so many exciting plans for the Lakefront restaurant and the location as a whole. Festivals and private dinners or just a place to have a good meal with a breathtaking view, it’s going to be amazing."
Friedman will continue to give free rein to what Lakefront called his "farmer-centric philosophy," with a series of unique concession stands and a dinner series as well as cooking demos and the beer-wine-and-food pairings he developed at Fountainhead.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined in breaking ground on the $6 million Theater on the Lake renovation late last year. It will create a 330-seat performance space out of what was formerly a summer-only theater and tie it to the Lakefront restaurant along with a 100-seat patio with what Lakefront Hospitality's Wrenn called an "unparalleled" view of the skyline to the south.
They were initially hoping for six months of construction and a Memorial Day opening, but it's now projected to be completed in late summer or early fall.
Friedman first made his name at the fondly remembered City Provisions in Ravenswood, then moved on to the Fountainhead, 1970 W. Montrose Ave., after taking a stab at playing host to the WTTW-TV Channel 11 series "Check, Please!"