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Roister Opens Friday: Kokonas Reveals Menus, Tickets and Story

It's happening

Matthew Gilson

This morning's photo reveal was just the start, as Roister is opening on Friday, according to the Alinea Group's Nick Kokonas. Kokonas revealed plenty of details about his new restaurant via a detailed Medium post he published this afternoon that explains the concept. Furthermore, the group released tickets on Tock, as diners can buy them online this very minute. (UPDATE: The first two weeks are already sold out, according to Kokonas, but they're seating 20 to 30 walk-ins each night.)

Roister appears radically different from Grant Achatz and Kokanas' other stalwarts Alinea and Next. The open design also means they're not distinguishing between the kitchen and dining room. That means Achatz and chef Andrew Brochu could be servers: "The restaurant is the kitchen. The kitchen is the restaurant," is the tagline on the website's opening page. Diners are welcome in jeans and a T-shirt, and the staff won't wear uniforms.

"Very quickly we realized that for us, casual did not mean simple," Kokonas wrote.


Kokonas describes the rustic-yet-refined menu, and a commitment to "accessible pricing, but not inexpensive," while retaining "super-high quality." The open fire is also meant to be "a core tool and centerpiece." There's a hearth menu for $85 with multiple courses. If guests want a la carte, they can reserve their seats for $10 via Tock. The a la carte menu includes a variety of sharable dishes, including an 8-ounce A-5 Japanese Wagyu with sea urchin butter and togarashi.

There's also what Kokonas described as "lively, loud, good mood music," and for the last few months Roister has invited the public to submit songs for the restaurant's Spotify playlist. That playlist hasn't surfaced, as of yet. The opening has been delayed for a variety of issues. One may have been where to store dry goods. The answer was "Everywhere. Allow them to be visible to diners."

What's about the restaurant's name? Kokonas explained, and credited that to Brochu: "It means to enjoy and celebrate in a boisterous manner. To engage in noisy revelry. Think: bluster, rustic, without restraint."

"Hundreds of decisions later, dozens of menus drafted, created and tested, budgets and goals expanded, we are finally seeing our dreams transpire," Kokonas added.

Check out the full a la carte and beverage menus below. They'll eventually offer lunch, too.


951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 789-4896