Is There More News about Eataly Coming to Chicago? Kind of.


At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Steve Dolinsky talked to Mario Batali about the upcoming Eataly opening— sometime— in Chicago. We reported in May (based on word from a guy who knows a guy) that its location was looking to be the former ESPN Zone. Which, as we noted at the time, though plenty big, is about 30% smaller than the New York Eataly. Batali still wouldn’t spill the cannellini beans on the exact location to Dolinsky, but one thing he did say— as if answering our piece— was that Chicago would actually be larger than New York— 60,000 square feet, compared to 50,000 in New York and only 35,000 in the ESPN Zone space. So what gives? Is there more space within the building where ESPN Zone was, like where The Jekyll & Hyde Club used to be? It’s possible. Could the deal have fallen through or a better location presented itself before the papers were finally signed? Sure, it happens every day in the world of big real estate. No news is, well, no news, really, but at least it’s good to know that Batali is determined not only to see that Eataly Chicago happens, but he’s firm in refuting any notion that it might be a lesser outpost compared to New York’s.