Chicago eating enthusiasts will have to wait a few months for the wildly-anticipated new restaurant from Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. In an audio interview in the Huffington Post, the innovative icon tells "The Dinner Party" host Elysabeth Alfano that he hopes to open Roister, the forthcoming "boisterous" restaurant in the former iNG space next to Next, "probably in late summer." Achatz previously hoped to open it in time for the James Beard Awards on May 4—which is also the same day as Alinea's tenth anniversary.
Achatz also reiterated the basic concept of Roister, telling Alfano it's named for "an old English word for boisterous party" and that "it's going to be shockingly 180 degrees the opposite of Alinea and Next." The Alinea, Next and Aviary chef/owner said in October that Roister will intentionally play loud music and arrange tables closely together so diners can have a "whole room" experience, and revealed in January that it will seat 60 on the main floor, 20 downstairs and cook with firepots over open flames utilizing local vegetable byproducts.
The entire 50-minute interview with Alfano is worth a listen, as Achatz chats about not wanting to "clone Alinea," intentionally creating new challenges, his childhood spent working in diners and flipping western omelets, and what the imminent James Beard Awards mean to Chicago. More to come.