In its quest to stir up two Little Italy feuds in one month, the Post interviewed some neighborhood shopkeepers and restaurateurs who didn’t seem too big on Eataly (“Eataly is for the kind of people who’d rather spend $700 on a pair of shoes than $70,” says a restaurateur) and slapped on the incendiary headline “Eataly Pinches Little Italy.” First off, there really aren’t more than a few Italian food shops left to pinch in Little Italy, and Eataly is a half-hour walk away — it’s not like they opened right next door. And yet Lou Di Palo, in a photo caption, is described as “one of the Little Italy merchants feeling pressure from the popular Eataly” — even though Di Palo isn’t quoted in the piece and seems to be doing just fine. Not only that, but as we’ve pointed out, Di Palo is a favorite of Lydia Bastinachi’s, who has collaborated with the store (her DVDs are still sold on its website). We weren’t surprised, then, to get an official statement from Di Palo’s rep.
According to the statement, “Lou, who has worked closely with Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali sees them and his fellow Italian food purveyors as colleagues not competitors on the exciting NYC food scene and welcomes their collaboration in promoting Italy and the Italian cuisine in the US.” We’re assured that “not too many sleepless nights are spent worrying about the Italian mecca uptown!”