Grant Achatz's Next Restaurant in Chicago has already been pretty genre-bending in the restaurant world. Few other restaurants change concepts every three months (actually, the only one we can think of that is sort of similar is Park Avenue Summer/Autumn/Winter/Spring which changes decor and menu with each season). And even fewer -- if any -- offer tickets in place of reservations.
The process of getting tickets to Next has been quite the headache for some eager diners who have been unable to score seats, though the hype has quieted a bit since Next first opened earlier this year. To absolve the problem for a select group of diners, Next co-owner Nick Kokonas told RedEye Chicago that season tickets will be sold likely starting this month. The tickets on offer are "50 seats per night for the restaurant's next three quarterly menus." The first three menus of next year are El Bulli, Sicily and Kyoto. Previous iterations have been Paris 1906 and Thailand; the current menu theme is Childhood.
Although in theory, season tickets to a restaurant are perhaps somewhat equivalent to being a VIP regular, this is certainly a departure from how most people elect to go to restaurants. But if you have money to burn and can get a guaranteed spot at one of the country's most innovative restaurants, then why not? It seems like a good bet on both sides, though we wonder if it will be harder to score seats for those not able to plonk down money ahead of time.