Sunday, July 5, 2015

Philly to get an Eataly

But where?

Philly to get an Eataly

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Former Strawbridge & Clothier building at 801 Market St.
Former Strawbridge & Clothier building at 801 Market St. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com

For a couple of years now, word has bounced around that Eataly - the Italian food emporium founded in New York City by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich - was targeting Philadelphia.

Now with a Chicago branch opening today, Joe Bastianich offers a confirmation.

In an interview with Chicago Reader, he says that Philly is probably a year away, followed by Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But where?

Marc Vetri, a Batali buddy, has said that the first floor of the old Strawbridge & Clothier store at Eighth and Market was on the table. The vast space could lend itself to Eataly's footprint.

Asked if he had anything to do with Eataly plans, Vetri offered no comment.

I reported that Eataly was looking at Philly two years ago. Then another source insisted that Eataly had shied away from a deal. 

I have asked Bastianich as well as a rep of PREIT, which owns the S&C building, for comment.

Franklin Flea occupies the space temporarily.

How do you feel about the Batali-Bastianich Italian emporium setting up at Eighth and Market Streets?
Excellent. This makes my year.
Mezza mezza. Good idea, but Eighth and Market?
Basta! We already have the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market.
Philly.com
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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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