Today is opening day for the Chicago location of Eataly, the Italian mega-emporium from partners Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich. Now that the newest location is on its way, expect fresh talk of what's next. And according to Joe Bastianich in an interview with the Chicago Reader posted today, it sounds like Philly is it.
While rumors have run rampant for several years and Philly has more recently been cited as one of a handful of cities on the Eataly shortlist, the latest from Bastianich is far more solid. When asked about upcoming locations, he named Philly, LA and Sao Paulo, adding, "Philly's probably a year away, and Los Angeles shortly after that."
Earlier this year, Foobooz caught up with Marc Vetri to discuss rumors that Eataly owners were sizing up the old Strawbridge's building at Eighth and Market, and Vetri confirmed at the time that the rumors had validity. Although the space recently took in the newly-rebranded Franklin Flea, an Inquirer article specified that the Flea is "not part of the building's long-term plans."
· Talking with the Principals Behind Eataly: Joe Bastianich [Chicago Reader]
· Vetri on Eataly: Something Awesome Will Happen at Eighth & Market [Foobooz]