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New Achatz Restaurant ‘Next’ Opens To Much Fanfare

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The video for the opening of Grant Achatz’s new Next restaurant. (Credit: YouTube)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – It was the hottest ticket in town Wednesday night – the opening of a new restaurant by acclaimed Chicago chef Grant Achatz.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, there were no reservations for the event. There were just tickets purchased online from a waiting list that began building a year ago, and which by the opening, had grown to 19,000.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

In the end, 60 diners made it through the doors of Next, at 953 W. Fulton Market.

Watch a YouTube video of preparations for the opening

Next is latest venture by world-renowned chef Grant Achatz, whose other restaurant, Alinea at 1723 N. Halsted St., routinely makes the lists of the world’s best.

Offering what it calls an exploration of world cuisine, Next will change its menu every three months. Its opening recalled Paris of 1906, and next will be Thai street food.

Among those who made it in, the reviews were smashing. On Twitter, one diner called the food “blissful,” and another tweeted she’d be dreaming of the duck for a long time to come.

The James Beard Foundation honored Achatz with its award as the nation’s top chef in 2008.

That year, Achatz was diagnosed with Stage 4 tongue cancer and underwent aggressive treatment to save his life and sense of taste. By the end of the year, he was cancer free.