Chef Cleetus Friedman Joins Theater on the Lake as Executive Chef

As the historic location gets a makeover, the well-respected chef gets ready to ignite The Lakefront.


 Solstice Communications is excited to announce the next project from longtime client and friend, chef Cleetus Friedman.  Please read below for details about Chef Cleetus’s new project at Theater on the Lake. We were happy to see that Chicago media were just as excited as we were to hear the news about Theater on the Lake with Chef Cleetus at the helm, you can see some of the coverage here: Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, DNAINFO Chicago & Eater Chicago.


Theater on the Lake, the soon-to-be restaurant, bar, event space and theater on the shores of Lake Michigan which opens in late summer 2017, announces the exciting addition of chef Cleetus Friedman as executive chef for The Lakefront at Theater on the Lake. Focused on classic Midwestern fare, the menu for the full-service, 125-seat restaurant (with an additional 100-plus seats on the outdoor lakefront patio) will emphasize seasonal food and beverage. Chef Cleetus’s food and beverage will also include events at Theater on the Lake. Currently undergoing a gorgeous redevelopment, the Theater on the Lake is a partnership between Lakefront Hospitality Group and the Chicago Park District. 


“I am thrilled to be working with Lakefront Hospitality Group and John Wrenn to bring this historical venue to life,” says executive chef Cleetus Friedman. “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.” 


Chef Cleetus’s culinary plans for The Lakefront are extensive, beginning with The Lakefront Dinner Series; a series of unique concession stands which reflect the restaurant’s farmer-centric philosophy; cooking demos plus beer and food festivals. Friedman will also continue his beer and wine and collaborations. 


“We are transforming the entire space,” says John Wrenn, president of Lakefront Hospitality Group. “The updated design of this building will showcase the charm and beauty of the original, historic structure while enlightening it with today’s technology and amenities. We know that this beautiful facility will amaze our guests and be enjoyed by all.” 


Once complete, Theater on the Lake will be an adaptable event space. Its modular design and collapsible walls will bring flexibility to this beautiful building. At full capacity, the space will hold approximately 1,000 guests, but can be adapted to host everything from a large-scale benefit to a cozy gathering or an intimate dinner.  The theater will be home to theater productions, concerts and other performance-focused special events and feature an abbreviated food menu from chef Cleetus with beer, wine, cocktails and a unique take on bottle service.  


To keep on top of the redesign progress and planning behind Theater on the Lake and The Lakefront restaurant follow chef Cleetus on Twitter & Instagram @CleetTweet and Theater of the Lake on Facebook and Instagram @TheaterOnTheLake. In addition, throughout the time leading up to opening, chef Cleetus will be scheduling pop-up dinners and special events. 


Renderings of the planned Theater on the Lake renovations can be found here


Upcoming Events: 


Chicago Air & Water Show: 

August 19 and 20 

Theater on the Lake will host a wide range of food and beverage along the lakefront.  For more information as it unfolds, follow progress via social media. 


About Chef Cleetus Friedman: 

Cleetus Friedman is a lifelong chef, entertainer and event planner revolutionizing food in Chicago since 2008.  After closing the doors of City Provisions in 2013, Cleetus joined Fountainhead as executive chef and worked to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients into its menu. With a passion for pairing food and beer, Cleetus created menus for beer dinners, beer releases and other special events at Fountainhead, and worked with local breweries to create collaboration beers. In summer 2015, Cleetus aided in the opening of Fountainhead Market where he launched Crafted by Cleetus, his line of chef driven retail products. 


As a constant advocate for the local food movement, Chef Cleetus works to keep himself at the forefront of all local, sustainable food initiatives in Chicago and beyond. 


Follow Cleetus on Twitter and Instagram: @CleetTweet and @CraftedByCleetus 


About Theater on the Lake 

Theater on the Lake is located at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, in a historic building with breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline. Designed in 1913 and built in 1920, Theater on the Lake is a Prairie style brick structure constructed with sweeping steel arched pavilions throughout. The redevelopment offers full use of the building, polishes this existing jewel, and elevates it to the level of the other major cultural institutions already gracing the lakefront. Theater on the Lake is a partnership between Lakefront Hospitality Group and the Chicago Park District. For more information call: (312) 763-8165 or email [email protected]