Although Volver's opening date has not been set ("still aiming for April," says a rep), Jose Garces announced today that tickets for the dining room will go on sale beginning on Wednesday, March 12. Yes, tickets: while the idea has so far been limited to one-off events here in Philly, the prepaid route has been working out quite well for acclaimed restaurants in other cities, like Grant Achatz' Chicago mini-empire (Alinea, Next, and The Aviary) and Ludo Lefebvre's Trois Mec in LA.
Volver's prepaid ticketing applies only to the tasting menu-only dining room/"show kitchen," while the champagne and caviar lounge will welcome walk-ins. (The lounge is served by a separate kitchen, and will feature small bites.) The official reasoning for the novel move (which "take[s] a cue from our surroundings in a performing arts center") is that "a ticketing system will allow us to focus on ensuring that every aspect of the dining experience is thoughtfully orchestrated."
The dining room, now said to seat 34 people (prime seating at the counter, though the space is small enough that it should allow a good view from any of the tables), will offer two seatings per night. An abbreviated pre-theater option includes eight courses and will run $75-$120 per person. The later seating will feature a first course of four snacks, followed by twelve more courses, at a cost of $175-$250 per person.
Tickets will be sold in groups of two, four, or six, and the ticket price includes sparkling and still water, a 20% service charge and tax.
If you would like to add a wine pairing, you can choose to purchase it along with your tickets or opt in when you dine. Any other a la carte beverage options, such as non-alcoholic drinks or wines by the glass or bottle, can also be added on and paid for at the restaurant.
You can purchase tickets up to 60 days in advance, with new tickets released every 30 days. Beginning on March 12, you can snag yours through Volver's site.