Restaurateur R.J. Melman’s Gold Coast mansion hits market at $5M 

Owners bought the house for $4.8M in 2020

Chicago Gold Coast Mansion Hits Market at $5M
105 East Bellevue Place in Chicago and @properties agents Katherine Melman and Erin Mandel (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

A Gold Coast mansion with a slew of celebrity past owners has hit the market.

The house’s current owners, R.J. Melman, the second-generation president of restaurant powerhouse Lettuce Entertain You, and his wife Katherine, a real estate agent, are asking just shy of $5 million for their six-bedroom residence at 105 East Bellevue Place, Crain’s reported. Katherine Melman and Erin Mandel of @properties are the listing agents.

The Melmans bought the house for $4.8 million in November 2020. That’s 4 percent less than the asking price, shedding light on the sluggish residential real estate market in Chicago, which has been hindered by high mortgage rates and low inventory since the post-pandemic housing boom peaked in summer 2022.

TV personalities Bill and Giuliana Rancic purchased the 19th-century row house in 2013 and renovated it, combining historical finishes with modern elements to create an open floor plan. They added fire sprinklers, allowing the removal of a second staircase and adding to a feeling of spaciousness.

The house’s interior is described as less flashy and more subtle than its previous iterations, featuring a minimalist design and light wood floors. 

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It has a spacious kitchen with a butler’s pantry, a family room infused with natural light from skylights, and a second-floor landing with built-in bookcases. 

The primary suite on the third floor has a high, beamed ceiling and a luxurious bathroom with a catwalk-style overlook. A rooftop deck provides scenic views of Oak Street Beach.

The basement has a wood and cashmere-wrapped pub room, a playroom and two bedrooms. The house, built circa 1870 with a classic carved stone facade, is situated on a quiet, one-block street between Inner Lake Shore Drive and Rush Street, the outlet said.

Other celebrities to have lived in the mansion include news anchor Zoraida Sambolin and former Chicago White Sox player-turned-executive Kenny Williams.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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