UPDATED 02/10/12 5:21 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are looking for as many as six people after a shooting outside a Michelin-rated restaurant on the city’s Near West Side.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, three employees were shot around 8:15 p.m. Thursday in the alley behind the Frontier restaurant, at 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Noble Square neighborhood. Police said the gunfire erupted as several men tried to break into a co-worker’s car.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports

The people who were shot included the restaurant general manager, a cook, and a bartender.

“An employee outside taking a smoke break, and there were five guys breaking into one of the other employees’ cars, and so he called to him back in the restaurant and said, ‘Hey, somebody’s breaking into your car,’” said Mark Domitrovich, owner of the Frontier restaurant.

Domitrovich says when word reached the restaurant that there was a car break-in, a bunch of his employees went back to check out what was going on.

They saw the suspects sitting in the car in the alley, and moments later, the robbers opened fire and took off.

“We were all home. We heard some noise, some voices, some yelling and then there was a little bit of silence, and we heard two gunshots, a pause, and three more — then we paused,” said neighborhood resident Lauren Wicke.

When police and paramedics arrived, three Frontier workers were injured. They were all taken to area hospitals in serious to critical condition.

One was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, while two were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County. As of early Friday morning, their conditions had been reported as stable.

Police say the men never got away with the car they were trying to steal, but they were still at large as of early Friday.

The multi-level Frontier restaurant is known for its American contemporary cuisine by executive chef Brian Jupiter. The restaurant features up to 20 varieties of oysters, and says it can smoke a whole pig, lamb, goat or wild boar.

The restaurant was recommended in the 2012 Michelin Guide, and made the Chicago Reader’s “Favorite Restaurants of 2011” list.