The idea behind Bluegrass came from Jim Lederer who has spent over twenty years in the business. Jim has been involved in restaurants since 1984. He set a fast pace the first few years of his career with the Stouffers Restaurant Corporation, Jim was then introduced to Don Roth and there was a short courting period where the relationship grew quickly. Jim was given the GM role at Don Roth's in Wheeling for 9 years.
After 9 years with Don Roth's in Wheeling, Jim accepted an opportunity to get involved with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and ended up running the kitchen at Bub City.
Jim then created another opportunity by opening up Crawdaddy Bayou, in Wheeling. This began with a set of blueprints and a chef named David Teichman. His job was to bring this concept to life. The restaurant was a huge success after its first year.
After 4 years with Crawdaddy Bayou, Jim decided to take a break from operations and traveled and consulted in the food & beverage industry for 2 years. After 7 years on the board of directors for the Wheeling Prospect Heights Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jim was asked to reside as the President. As President of the chamber he formally started the Restaurant Row Hospitality Group within the Chamber of Commerce. This arm of the chamber was created to educate and promote the restaurateurs and their staff. He then got back into operations as the GM of a fine dining restaurant in Lake Forest, enhancing and growing their business, while he planned the opening of Bluegrass.
After seeking advice on the menu, Jim decided to create the first Bluegrass, new concept was really great food and service, something not executed well at almost any price points yet alone the casual price point.
Inspiration Wine dinner with winemaker Jon Philips
What's Happening July 2014
Sherman Kaplan Review of Bluegrass
New Concepts Making Waves in Chicago's North Shore - Carolyn Walkup NRN
Fooditude.tv comes to Bluegrass 2012
Interview on North Shore Insider 2007
Bluegrass a new quiet look 2012
Cooking Class Nov 10 2013
Bluegrass Current Happenings
Jim Lederer interviewed on DevHour.com