Snatching a seat at the critically renowned Travail Kitchen & Amusements became a little beat easier and cheaper Tuesday with a new plan to sell discounted rush tickets for last-minute open seats.
Over the weekend, Travail in Robbinsdale sent out an e-mail to newsletter subscribers seeking to fill 20 open seats from a late-hour cancellation Saturday night. The discounted tickets went in a flash. Travail owners saw an opportunity.
The restaurant, which takes diners on a 20-plus-course journey, initially opened several years ago with a no-reservations policy. That meant showing up, waiting and hoping to score a seat at the foodie hot spot. Then Travail went to a unique ticketed system where diners paid in advance online, allowing them to reserve seats.
Now diners on their e-mail list can get tickets at a discount in the manner of last-minute theatergoers. On Saturday, the tickets went for $75, a discount of $40 per seat — not including wine — for the 20-plus-course tasting menu.
“These rush tickets are perfect for those who have flexible schedules, are on a budget, or simply love partying at Travail. We don’t have waitlists, so this is definitely the next best thing,” the notice said.
Although the seatings are at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Travail is offering the tickets this week beginning Tuesday.
Travail also will offer discounted tickets for the newer family style concept. Diners pay $90 for two four-course meals served at a 16-seat semicircle bar with a view of the open kitchen.
Travail doesn’t take telephone reservations. The restaurant is at 4124 W. Broadway Av. in Robbinsdale.