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Ticket Sales At The Aviary? A New Achatz Bar?

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 19, 2013 4:20PM

The interior of the Office at The Aviary, via Grant Achatz's twitter.
Sometimes, restaurant news scoops come from the most random places. This time, big news about the Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas restaurant empire comes from Tumblr, specifically from a Tumblr called "Aviary is Haunted." The author posted a series of probing questions about the operations of the group a couple days ago, while at the same time lamenting that he'd never get to ask them and, even if he did, Kokonas and Achatz wouldn't answer.

Well, Kokonas did answer (we confirmed with him that these are real answers), and there are some very interesting revelations contained therein.

You should go read the whole article, but here are the high points.

1) The Aviary might be starting ticket sales. Via Kokonas:

"We want to put Aviary on tickets for one reason only and it is a different reason: I often hear that people want to go after work on a Wednesday night but think either that they need a reservation (they don’t) or that they will have to wait in line (they won’t). So it’s a bit like knowing a highway has construction, so everyone stays off the highway. People know Aviary is busy, so they stay away. Tickets will give them a quick way to check online and book a slot."

Reportedly, the ticket cost will be added back onto your bill as a credit, so it's really like a reservation with a monetary incentive.

2) Cookbooks for Next might still come someday.

Remember how there were supposed to be cookbooks for each iteration of Next? Only one ever materialized. Well, they're not dead.

"Thai is done. Childhood is basically done. The rest we have all the content for but haven’t laid out. We are not satisfied with a single digital publishing model — iTunes is great but only part of the ecosystem. So we are trying to decide the best way to do it."

3) There's another bar coming from the team

"[W]e are planning another drinks only place here in Chicago… though it won’t be what you expect at all. Hoping to open by the end of next year."

Read the whole thing for all sorts of great info about the group's financials, private parties, staff turnover and more.