Chef Grant Achatz's Chicago restaurant Alinea is going on tour: the restaurant will pop-up in Miami and Madrid next year. In an interview with Fine Dining Lovers, Achatz reveals that Alinea — which recently won The World's 50 Best People's Poll — will temporarily shutter in Chicago in the beginning of 2016 to undergo a "major redesign and conceptualization": "We're going to rip it right apart, aesthetically it's going to be very different." While the restaurant is shut, Achatz and his business partner, restaurateur Nick Kokonas will take the restaurant on the road.
Last year, news broke that the team planned to do an Alinea pop-up in New York City in the near future, but it turns out that was just a small part of a larger plan to do pop-ups in locations around the world. The New York date still is not set, but Achatz says they are "about to sign contracts with pop-ups in Madrid and Miami." He adds, "We don't have exact dates or exact locations, even which one will come first, but we're expecting January or February 2016."
Achatz says that the pop-ups will be a "full restaurant move," meaning that the entire staff will travel, similar to moves made by chef René Redzepi during his Noma pop-up in Japan. While the pop-ups are a chance for diners in other cities to experience Alinea, they are also about "research and development for Alinea's future." Achatz hopes to be inspired by "the culture[s] and ingredients."