CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new restaurant complex is coming to the Chicago riverfront from Lettuce Entertain You and RPM restaurants.
Calling the riverfront the next recreational frontier, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the major redevelopment project on the river's north bank at Clark Street.
"Just 10 years ago, let alone 20, 30, 40 years ago, people would have avoided the Chicago River. Today, they're flocking for entertainment for enjoyment to the city of Chicago," Emanuel said.
RPM on the Water will be a dramatic, four-level restaurant and events venue occupying 35,000 square feet. It will house three separate venues including a bi-level restaurant, a private events space, and a yet-to-be-named casual eating concept, all with outdoor areas and river views. There will also be boat slips for anyone arriving via the river.
The project is part of a $50 million building upgrade of the office tower at 321 North Clark Street.
"We couldn't be prouder to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mayor and everyone here as we continue to bring people together through great food and a historic place like Chicago's riverfront," said R.J. Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
The restaurant is expected to contribute to the city's ongoing effort to make the Riverwalk a tourist and entertainment destination.
In 2017 nearly half a million people reportedly visited the dozen vendors on the Riverwalk.
"People love to be social, people love to be around other people. Kind of like doing their own thing but being part of humanity, and I think the river gives us a chance to do that," said Michael Edwards of the Chicago Loop Alliance.
The team behind RPM on the Water is excited about expanding their presence to the riverfront, and is confident it will have longevity as a sought after destination.
"We always operate very cautiously. We're a pretty conservative company. And we think that there's room for another restaurant in the city," Melman said.
RPM on the Water is expected to open in 2019.
City announces new RPM on the Water restaurant complex on Chicago riverfront