Chicago's Next Restaurant, which sprung from the mind of the man behind Alinea, is bit of a strange bird. The biggest difference is that it's a restaurant with hard coded reinvention. The theme and menu are completely change every three months. It's gone through five such reinventions, spanning fancy French food to Thai street food, since it started in 2011. The latest reset is a transition from Sicilian food to Japanese. Given their success thus far we suppose it isn't a surprise that Next has drafted a series of trailers to announce their latest creation.
We have to question the effectiveness of the underlying message. Should we be excited to eat at a restaurant with the "World's Best Chef" if they only got that title because every other great chef in the world dropped dead? That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Beyond that, we're not sure if bloody murder by a Yakuza turned restauranter is exactly an appetite stimulant. Are any of the chefs going to lose a finger if they screw up a service?
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But it probably won't matter because Next's unique business model offers another interesting twist. In an effort to keep prices low and in keeping with their theme that a meal at Next isn't just dinner, it's a "show" with food, you don't make reservations at Next, you buy tickets for seats online. With all the money paid upfront, Next never has to worry about cancellations. Sales for one of their recent menus drew such a crowd that they actually had to build a digital "waiting room" to help hold back the horde of people who crushed their webpage the minute tickets went on sale.
Here's their original teaser trailer, less bloody but more moody.