Next (restaurant)

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Restaurant information
Established 2011 (2011)
Current owner(s) Grant Achatz
Nick Kokonas
Head chef Grant Achatz
Food type Variable
Street address 953 W. Fulton Market
City Chicago
State Illinois
Country United States
Coordinates 41°53′11″N 87°39′07″W / 41.88639°N 87.65194°W / 41.88639; -87.65194Coordinates: 41°53′11″N 87°39′07″W / 41.88639°N 87.65194°W / 41.88639; -87.65194

Next is Grant Achatz's second Chicago restaurant, which opened on April 6, 2011.[1] The restaurant has received media interest due to Achatz's high profile success at his first restaurant Alinea, as well as its unique "ticketed" format[2] where unlike a traditional reservation system, Next sells pre-priced tickets for specific dates and times in a similar fashion to the way theater, concert, and sporting event tickets are sold.[3]


Next is located within Chicago's Fulton River District, with well known Randolph Street's "Restaurant Row" just two blocks south, which is also home to several other fine dining restaurants, including Moto and The Publican.

Next's operation also includes two on-site bars: The Aviary, previously headed by Charles Joly,[4] and presently headed by Micah Melton,[5] and The Office, an invite-only speakeasy-format bar that seats 14 and is located behind an unmarked metal door in the basement of the building.[6]


Rather than stick with one type of cuisine, Next completely changes its style every few months, focusing on a different time period, parts of the world, or various abstract themes for each "season" of its menu.[7] While themes for the year are often released at the end of the previous season, menu development for each of the season's themes begins in final weeks of the previous menu. Executive chef Dave Beran and Grant Achatz head this process.

These are the past, present, and (known) future menus of Next Restaurant:

  • April 6, 2011 – June 30, 2011: "Paris: 1906"[8]
  • July 8, 2011 – October 9, 2011: "Thailand"[9][10]
  • October 22, 2011 – January 29, 2012: "Childhood"[11]
  • February 8, 2012 – May 27, 2012: "elBulli"[12]
  • June 2, 2012 – September 9, 2012: "Sicily"[13]
  • September 15, 2012 – December 31, 2012: "kaiseki"[14]
  • January 9, 2013 – April 28, 2013: "The Hunt"
  • May 8, 2013 – August 24, 2013: "Vegan"
  • August 31, 2013 – December 31, 2013: "Bocuse d'Or"
  • January 2014 - April 2014: "Chicago Steakhouse"
  • May 2014 - August 2014: "Chinese:Modern"
  • September 2014 - December 2014: "Trio, January 20, 2004"
  • January 2015 - May 2015: "Bistro" [15]
  • May 2015 - September 2015: "Tapas"[16]
  • September 2015 - December 2015: "Terroir"[17]
  • January 2016 - March 2016: "The Alps"[18][19]


Through the "Childhood" menu, Next sold tickets through their web site in batches. Several tables would be opened up, and announcements were made on their Facebook and Twitter pages when tickets were available. The tickets sold rapidly.[20] Next tickets are transferrable, but not refundable or exchangeable.[21] This has sparked the creation of a secondary market for the tickets, which has resulted in reports of people scalping the tickets for several times their face value.[22]

In an attempt to eliminate the secondary market on Next tickets, the sales model was changed in 2012 to follow a season ticket model, where in-advance tickets were only available if patrons purchased tickets for one meal from each of the restaurant's seasonal menus being offered for the year.[23] Additional benefits (including access to the invite-only The Office) were given along with the season tickets with the stipulation that if the tickets were sold, these additional benefits would be lost. For the 2012 season, the wait list during ticket purchasing reached a queue of over 6,600 people. With just over 900 packages available in total for the year, the people who were able to buy the tickets were in line within 8–10 seconds of their release.[24]

Next also releases "Same-Day" tickets via their Facebook page.[25] They guarantee there will be at least one table available via Facebook every day they are open.

Next, Alinea, and The Aviary, each in their own right, served as a testing and development ground for Nick Kokonas's proprietary ticketing system. Kokonas's system allows for dynamic pricing for restaurant tickets/reservations. The system, now held under a new company called Tock, is being commercially offered to restaurants around the country and the world. Some of the earliest adopters include, Thomas Keller's The French Laundry and Per Se and Daniel Patterson's Coi.[26]


  1. ^ "Grant Achatz's Next Opens in "Paris, 1906"". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ Wells, Pete (May 3, 2010). "Grant Achatz To Open a Restaurant and a Bar". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Wells, Pete (May 5, 2010). "In Chicago, the Chef Grant Achatz Is Selling Tickets to His New Restaurant". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Drawing Room Bartender Charles Joly To Join The Aviary". Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Charles Joly Leaving the Aviary". Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ "5 Secrets of The Office, Grant Achatz's Uber-Exclusive Speakeasy". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Stein, Joel (December 9, 2010). "Sneak Preview: A Taste of Grant Achatz's Next Menu". Time. 
  8. ^ "Grant Achatz's Next Opens in "Paris, 1906"". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Next Gearing Up for Thai Menu". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ "From Paris to sizzling Bangkok". Chicago Tribune. August 25, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Preview: Next's childhood menu". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Next Restaurant on Facebook". Retrieved Feb 3, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Next at Next: An Alps-Inspired Menu with Stone Soup and Burning Logs". Retrieved Feb 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Next Childhood Sells Out; Grant Achatz & Dave Beran Talk About the Concept, Menu". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Next Restaurant: FAQ". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Tables at Achatz's Next Selling For Up to $3000 on Craigslist". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Next to sell Season Tickets". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Next Season Tickets Sell Out Quick; Over 6,660 Queue Up". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Next Restaurant: FAQ". Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  26. ^ DeJesus, Erin. "Introducing Nick Kokonas's Ticketing System, Tock". Retrieved January 13, 2015. 

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