Le Colonial Lake Forest

Le Colonial is a celebration of the seductive spirit and vivid flavors reminiscent of Saigon in the 1920s.

EST. 2022
Le Colonial Lake Forest bar


655 Forest Ave, Lake Forest, IL

Le Colonial Lake Forest is a celebration of the seductive spirit and vivid flavors reminiscent of Saigon in the 1920's. Heralded as "an escapist’s paradise," the famed French-Vietnamese institution is designed to capture Vietnam's era of romance and soft architecture in the heart of the charming Market Square of Lake Forest.

Le Colonial opened its doors in July 2022, in a historical two-story structure originally built in 1901 to serve as the community’s fire and police station. The free standing building includes over 12,500 square feet of lavish palm-filled dining and picturesque banquet event space, as well as a large outdoor garden for alfresco dining and lounging by the Parrot bar.

Private Dining

Private Chef's Dining Room, Lounge, Banquet rooms or full restaurant buy-outs available

Le Colonial - Private Event Space

Chef's Note

"We carefully source our ingredients from locally owned farms in each of our locations. Through our partnerships, we not only ensure the freshest and highest quality of ingredients to create flavor bursting fare (more nutrients, minimal pesticides, safer food supply) but also support the local communities. Indeed, we believe the value of a restaurant goes beyond pleasing the palette and is measured based on its positive impact on our local communities."
Chef Hassan Obaye, Culinary Director at Le Colonial
Le Colonial dish
Chef Hassan Obaye


Celebrated restaurateurs Rick Wahlstedt and Joe King

Joe King, Owner

Joe King is one of the Chicago area’s most prolific restaurateurs, playing a pivotal role in Windy City ventures spanning from nationally acclaimed Japonais by Morimoto, Rockit Bar & Grill and Le Passage nightclub to local favorites like King Café Gourmet and Go. He is also a partner in award-winning East Coast establishments, L’Escale in Greenwich, CT and Artisan in Southport, CT, and co-owns South China Management with Rick Wahlstedt.

A Massachusetts native, King first found his love for the hospitality industry as a teenager working during summer breaks. In 1996, he entered a partnership with Chicago’s Le Colonial, where he was intimately involved in all operational, culinary, service and design aspects that have made Le Colonial an institution in Chicago, as well as the big picture of the Le Colonial’s legacy.

Rick Wahlstedt, Founder & Owner

A lifelong entrepreneur by way of Sweden, Rick Wahlstedt is the creator and/or partner and driving force behind some of the country’s most successful, innovative and acclaimed culinary and hospitality concepts such as Japonais, Le Bilboquet, La Goulue, L’Escale and Artisan.

Wahlstedt’s uncanny ability to know what his patrons want is based on a simple principle: he creates sophisticated, inviting and unpretentious venues that he and his friends would enjoy. In 1993, Wahlstedt set out to create something unique in Manhattan debuting the adventure of Le Colonial, the first upscale fine dining Vietnamese restaurant in the country. After 25 years of great success and with Le Colonial thriving in Chicago, Atlanta and Houston, Wahlstedt is spearheading Le Colonial’s expansion with five new restaurants during the next two years and establishing joint ventures internationally and licensing opportunities.