HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Eataly To Open In DC During 2012

  • m

Well, here comes some more NYC restuarant/food innovations. Mario Batali confirmed this today in a Huffington Post story.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. hopefully it's IN DC and we can all enjoy it and not far, far away in someplace like Tysons or whatnot.
    yay!

    17 Replies
    1. re: Jeserf

      They're going to need a very large location and I can't think of where that would be in DC that would be centrally enough located. I bet it's in the burbs.

      1. re: ChewFun

        Two huge empty spaces are the Borders and the ESPN zone. Both are huge and central.

        1. re: Jeserf

          My dream is that this will be part of the new development at The Wharf, at the SW Waterfront. There is also lots of space around Navy Yard. Either would be awesome!

          1. re: dcandohio

            I agree that there are plenty of underdeveloped Metro-accessible locations within the District itself that would be perfect for this. Eatily could really stimulate development of such a neighborhood.

            1. re: dcandohio

              yes, but there will already be a LOT of food options there. I think that might be something of a reason for the company to not pick it....

              1. re: Jeserf

                isn't there a strange "law" of business that the food places like to locate near other food places? like a burger king near a mcdonald's?

                eataly is fun, and i'm curious as to whether they will want to locate their retail store of wondrous and pricey wares in a neighborhood in d.c. with space (but probably little parking), or in an established wealthy area like tysons.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Does the NYC one have parking?

                  1. re: Jeserf

                    No.......it is at Madison Square (23rd St. and Fifth Avenue).......

                      1. re: Jeserf

                        Remember though that hardly anything has parking in NYC. Few people drive around the city.

                    1. re: Jeserf

                      You mean like where Eataly is in Manhattan? LOL

                    2. re: Jeserf

                      There are actually 2 Borders locations that are unused at the moment (near the White House and K Street). But I feel like I've heard that one of them is being taken over by a restaurant--can't remember which though.

                      Still the Eataly in NY is even bigger than those locations I believe. I remember if feeling more like the size of a Macys.

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        According to Prince of Petworth, Eataly is 40,000 sq feet....and some people posted that the old ESPN zone building is 72k and one of the Borders/Barnes and Noble spaces is like 42k.

                        1. re: Jeserf

                          ESPN Zone would be a good spot. I could go to Eataly and then a movie at E Street and all my yuppie dreams could come true :)

                        2. re: Elyssa

                          I think the Clyde's group is taking over one of the Borders locations.

                          I'm excited for this, no matter where it ends up...

                      2. re: ChewFun

                        If you've been to the NYC flagship, it is very much an urban experience in a building with a traditional, old world character. Assuming they stick with that theme, something like the Old Post Office at Union Station would be perfect, though it could very well be something like the old yellow building at the corner of 7th and H(?) near Chinatown, or the mall across the street that could use some life zinged into it, or do a complete build out in a newer building with an "old Italy" kind of look. They'll want to have both the tourist and lunch trade and those locations, as well as something in the new City Center would give them both. I wonder if they are consulting with/working with the Italian Embassy? What a wonderful cultural outlet- Eataly is more than just Italian food, but an Italian experience that would drive cultural relations, tourism, etc... hope you are reading this, Mario... and welcome to DC!

                    3. This is the best foodie news I've heard in a long time! I spent probably 3 hours at Eataly when I went to NYC. Looooove that place!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Elyssa

                        Yes, I agree. Best Foodie News in a long time!

                      2. I am so excited to have an Eataly here. YAY!

                        1. Just read that Cap City Brewery near Union Station is closing. Could that be where Eataly is coming?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: laurentobias

                            that's not a very big spot for eataly, is it -- compared with the one in nyc?

                            is the new d.c. eataly going to have the various mini-restaurants?

                            1. re: laurentobias

                              Actually, it is a very good place if they can expand the space. The Eataly in NYC is in a historic (looking) space with a good portion taken over by prepared foods/restaurant. It would be easy for people to get to and could have a similar vibe to NYC if that is what they are looking for. BTW if you want to see how much the fixtures etc at Cap City went for, take a look at Rasmus.com (also if you want industrial restaurant equipment)...

                              1. re: ClevelandDave

                                key phrase: "if they can expand the space."

                                that location couldn't be better for an "eataly."

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  If I'm not mistaken, the building is under historic preservation and is owned by the Feds. That would limit what they can do. It's also not really that big a space.

                                  1. re: ChewFun

                                    my point exactly... my office used to be just next to (well, across the street) from that restaurant on north capital, so i am really familiar with the space and the building overall.

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      There is a ton of space in the building that is being used for different purposes. I know a large portion is the National Postal History Museum, which is part of the Smithsonian, and there are offices, but I believe there is a great deal of other space above, below and next to the restaurant, though it would have to be reconfigured internally. But hey, who knows what they've got planned and what is really possible...

                            2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/g...

                              “As I understand it, they’re not coming,” one broker told me. “I specifically spoke with somebody involved with them…They came down and took a look around and didn’t see anything they like.”

                              C'mon people!

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: ahack

                                Yea, but now for the rest of the story:

                                “I don’t know what anyone is telling you, but I think to go and do it right in D.C., it has to be the same size,” Batali said. “I don’t want to do it smaller. Smaller? That’s like a little outpost. It’s like a remainder store.”

                                He also mentioned that he and his partners hadn’t signed a lease yet, which got me worried. So I made a few calls today to commercial real estate brokers, who all spoke anonymously since the search for an Eataly space apparently continues.

                                There is, I think, lots to see, but maybe they don't want to spend the money...or maybe their financing didn't work out... yet...

                                1. re: ClevelandDave

                                  here is my cut… they ain't wanting to spend the money…..

                                  WORD.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    What do you base that on?

                                    WORD.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Update -Eataly closes in on District location

                                        Eataly, the Italian-themed culinary concept by chef Mario Batali, has engaged brokerage firm CBRE in a local real estate search and narrowed its options to open a Washington version of the New York City marketplace-and-restaurant hub to three or four locations.

                                        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/c...

                                        1. re: agarnett100

                                          well this should be interesting….looking for 30,000 sq.ft. with brisk foot traffic, tourists & locals, high ceilings and an 8,000 sq. ft. roof garden.

                                          agarnett, thanks for the update!

                              2. here is an update from eater dc yesterday, speculating on some possible locations for eataly: http://dc.eater.com/archives/2011/12/...

                                notably, this article says 60,000 sq. ft plus roof garden…vs. an earlier comment from batali re 30,000.

                                >>>"Folks around the blogosphere have begun to speculate — and, in fact, some of this speculation has been ongoing since the original announcement in July. So let's take a look at some of the best guesses as to where a 60,000-square-foot marketplace with a beer garden could make its home in this fair city.

                                1) CityCenterDC…. [WashCityPaper].

                                2) The Shops at Georgetown Park...[WaPo].

                                3) Farragut Square Borders space: …. [Urban Turf].

                                4) ESPN Zone:…. [Urban Turf]."""<<<

                                ~~~~~~~~~~
                                i hadn't seen this in july, at the initial announcement: ""[Joe] Bastianich says that Eataly DC will be even bigger than its New York original — which, by the way, is a 50,000-square-foot mecca packed with 12 restaurants, a beer garden, a cooking school, and an exhaustive Italian market that sells salumi, fresh pasta, mozzarella and other imported products that you probably won't see at your local grocery store. The approximate date given for the expansion is "by the end of 2012," though timing depends on whether the team finds the right space. Finding the right space will also determine which new location opens first — DC or LA.""" http://dc.eater.com/archives/2011/07/...

                                24 Replies
                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Georgetown would be a great fit, IMO.

                                  1. re: Manassas64

                                    no metro reduces the amount of regular shoppers, as well as the lack of central office space. To continue to do well, they need regular people to shop there not just tourists or people making it a destination. I'm not even that far from Georgetown, but having it down town makes it much more likely that I - and many people, I gather - would stop there on their way home...the essence of growing the business model, I would think.

                                    Tourists are great for business, but they can only buy so much.

                                    1. re: Jeserf

                                      The reason I like it is for the fact that there's no metro. I'd prefer it to be a locals thing as opposed to a tourist thing.

                                      The tourists can eat at the restaurants, the locals can shop at the markets. The tourists aren't going to be schlepping home cakes and breads and canned imported tomatoes.

                                      I just think it's a better neighborhood fit.

                                      1. re: Manassas64

                                        How about the huge concrete pad in Eastern Market that had the post-fire "temporary" tent? I watched them take the tent down on Sunday. There must be a plan for that space?

                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                          <shrug> I'm a local and I never go to Georgetown because it's full of tourists and students and is annoying to get around - bad parking (which if you're buying a lot of food items, is annoying). If I'm going to be schleppong home cakes, breads, and heavy olive oil or perishable cheese, I'd rather it be convenient than in a fancy part of town. Especially if it was a placeI was stopping at to grab dinner or items for a gathering.

                                          That said, the stuff is so expensive I would probably rather it be in Geogetown so I'm not tempted or encouraged to go.

                                          1. re: Jeserf

                                            Any operation that size needs more then Georgetown locals and tourist to keep it in business besides with its sky high rents and horrible traffic congestion its not a good fit for any major retail unless underground parking is available since the Metro is a nice health walk away with groceries.

                                            1. re: agarnett100

                                              It's been a while since I worked in Georgetown Park, but last time I was there I parked in the underground garage. Have they gotten rid of the garage at Georgetown Park?

                                              1. re: Manassas64

                                                Georgetown Park is going to redeveloped - that will take a few years before its completed
                                                Tim Carman - is a food critic - real estate is not really his thing

                                                http://www.bizjournals.com/washington...

                                    2. re: alkapal

                                      I don't know how many SQ foot the Space is, but how about Filenes at Conn & Desales? It has 3 large floors as well as easy access to the Red and Blue Lines, a huge amount of foot traffic (and right near my office!!!!!)

                                      1. re: tommyskitchen

                                        How about the Lincoln Theater on U? The city is probably going to unload this property because they can't afford to run it as a theater.

                                          1. re: MartinDC

                                            in my humble opinion, the u street location would not be a,good location for eataly.

                                            1. re: MartinDC

                                              Local NBC just ran a segment stating that THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO would be shown in the Lincoln Theater for a limited run. This would be the first event in a larger plan to raise money to keep Lincoln Theater functioning. I certainly hope the plan succeeds; the Lincoln Theater is an architectural jewel.

                                            2. re: tommyskitchen

                                              Filene's may actually be a brilliant spot. Near lots of offices, but also not straight downtown where there are less people who live there. Lots of foot traffic, hotels nearby etc.

                                              I can't really imagine it anywhere else but Dupont or Chinatown/Penn Quarter.

                                              1. re: J_DC

                                                I agree about Filene's Basement. Like you said, lots of offices nearby but also on the edge of residential areas. Plus, centrally located and, although technically on the red line, not a long walk from the blue and orange lines (Farragut West).

                                            3. re: alkapal

                                              I'm predicting it will be at the recently closed Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. I wouldn't be shocked if we heard an announcement within a week or two.

                                              1. re: J_DC

                                                Nope looks like Nike beat them to it

                                                Nike to fill Barnes & Noble space in Georgetown

                                                http://www.bizjournals.com/washington...

                                                1. re: agarnett100

                                                  Yeah, I saw that right after posting my message. It's a real shame, because it'd be an impressive spot for Eataly, and probably hit what they are looking for in a space.

                                                  1. re: agarnett100

                                                    Access to Georgetown is a nightmare already. They'd be cutting themselves off at the knees to choose that site.

                                                  2. re: J_DC

                                                    Probably much too small than what they are planning for.

                                                  3. re: alkapal

                                                    If they are looking for something that large, 50-60k sq-ft, they'll need to make it in some place like Tysons Corner.

                                                    ESPN Zone, all three stories, is a mere 41k Sq-ft. In addition, it'll be incredibly expensive to rent given the location.

                                                    The recent Bed, Bath, and Beyond flagship in Tysons Corner is 55k Sq-ft. There is VERY few places in DC that could meet that footprint criteria. Obviously, the further you go out the cheaper it gets. The Wegman's in Fairfax is 128k sq-ft, the Leesburg Wegman's is 145k sq-ft.

                                                    Eataly will need to figure out what is the best location/size/price ratio.

                                                    With the metro coming to Tysons in the next year or so, and the potential suburban market, personally, I think Tysons would be the most ideal area. Especially given the rent and size they are looking for. Its is also centrally located, meaning they can get customers from NoVa/DC/Maryland.

                                                    That said, I've been to the Eataly in Tokyo and its incredibly small.

                                                    1. re: Temple

                                                      You didn't get the message that DC is no longer on the Eataly agenda (if it ever was)?

                                                      1. re: skipper

                                                        I was actually replying to the fact that the NYT article mentions that they want to make 2-3 new Eataly's a year. And that there really isn't an ideal location within DC to meet the criteria that has been mentioned (relative to size and price).

                                                        Hence, Tysons Corner, which isn't in DC, but will have a metro access in the next couple years and is located in an area that meets the criteria in size would probably be ideal. Given the pace that Eataly is expanding, even if its not on the immediate agenda the DC area probably will be in the near future.

                                                  4. Depending on how developed they are looking for - in other words, new construction versus existing, the forthcoming American Ass'n of Medical Colleges building going in on the south side of New York Ave between 6th and 7th might be good. The signs say retail space, so Eataly might be able to really take over, plus get both foot and driving traffic. But I have to imagine that is two years away.

                                                    1. Ok, another idea: how about the red brick schoolhouse next to the Hyatt, across the street from the new development at 10th and H St NW? Right size. Right location. Right kind of traditional structure for a build out. Eataly in NYC is stand alone and this would be too...

                                                      But my guess is as good as any... or worse...

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: ClevelandDave

                                                        I still like the Chevy Chase Pavillion / Mazza Gallery area where you have several empty, big box retail sites with Metro (subway) and parking.

                                                        1. re: ClevelandDave

                                                          My vote is for the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue.....

                                                        2. I've been reading all the suggestions, and IMHO anyone who thinks that this business would be opened in a location which is not easily accessible to cars is in error. Who would go to the business and shlep packages on the Metro or worse?

                                                          22 Replies
                                                          1. re: skipper

                                                            Well Eataly NYC is in the middle of the city, and that it is the model for the DC concept. The place, which has multiple cafes/places to eat, is dependent on foot traffic, and probably that would include tourists and the lunch crowd. People going for "packages" would probably stick to the Bed, Bath and Beyond in Potomac which will be cheaper.

                                                            Plus, for those many of us who live in DC, often without a car, we get by and get our packages just fine through metro, bus, or cab when needed. If you are suggesting an Walmart-like Eataly in suburbia, I think your view of the concept is in error.

                                                            1. re: J_DC

                                                              no need to get snotty about people who live in the suburbs.

                                                              yeah, bed bath and beyond. right.

                                                              i've been to eataly in nyc; i know the concept. d.c. is not nyc. in d.c., i believe that you need (in addition to foot traffic, which in no conceivable way approximates that of nyc's eataly) parking access to sustain the volume of sales you want -- esp. at eataly prices. i could be 100% wrong. maybe the cafés will be mobbed with lines (esp. depending on the restaurant competition wherever it is located). i'd venture a good part of the profit margin is from the wine (obviously) and the other non-café items (the pastas, the honeys, the tools, the specialty ingredients like bottarga, the cheeses, charcuterie, fish, seafood, meats, etc.).

                                                              i wish them all success! i really enjoyed our time in nyc's eataly -- and spent a good bit of money there. i love the rooftop garden idea for the one here in d.c.

                                                              i wonder what kind of market research they've done.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                DC is a lot different than NYC - if they put this "downtown" (near metro center or wherever) the weekend foot traffic won't be that great - I live between Dupont an U Street and basically don't go "downtown" at all unless it's for a specific reason.

                                                                No matter where they pick, it'll make someone on Chowhound angry!

                                                                1. re: Jeserf

                                                                  hahaha -- oh, you got that right. thanks for the laugh.

                                                                  1. re: Jeserf

                                                                    As long as we're going to play the demographics game - DC has a population of a little over a half million, most of whom do not live downtown. We have about the same number of people who commute into the city on a daily basis, most of them not in cars.

                                                                    Manhattan has over 1.6 million people who live on the island alone, and about 2 million more who commute into Manhattan from elsewhere.

                                                                    1. re: DanielK

                                                                      We also don't have a population that is used to doing their errands on foot/by public transport (though, with Metro the way it is, I don't blame 'us'!)

                                                                      Most of us are from elsewhere, so like I said, they'll piss someone off. But the pissed off people will still go!

                                                                        1. re: Jeserf

                                                                          How do most people in this city run their errands? I can't possibly be the only person with out a car and therefore do all of my shopping by foot and taking public transportation.

                                                                            1. re: Elyssa

                                                                              Small trips by bike 1-3 times per week depending on the errands I have to run. It works, though only when you're able-bodied and childless.

                                                                              1. re: Elyssa

                                                                                I have a car and still do most of my errands on foot.

                                                                                1. re: Elyssa

                                                                                  I do as much as I can by foot and public transportation, but use Zipcar when I need to.

                                                                            2. re: Jeserf

                                                                              Why not somewhere over in NE? Near the Rhode Island or Brookland metros? There are so many vacant lots and buildings for sale, all within walking distance to a metro and with parking.

                                                                          1. re: Elyssa

                                                                            It makes sense to have both Metro and parking available since DC only has about 600K people actually living within the city. Its about maxmizing profit for any business a place that size needs a large volume of people regularly not just summer tourist and a lunch crowd

                                                                            1. re: agarnett100

                                                                              I agree with that. That's why some of the locations suggested here make sense . Places that are near both offices, hotels and residential. But those areas will all have a parking issue, assuming they put it in an established places, versus an up and coming (for example, Navy Yard). I'm not sure how best they can deal with that without it being a new construction that could have parking above or below.

                                                                              1. re: J_DC

                                                                                Parking in DC is going become a premium especially with all the new development planned in the next 10 yrs.

                                                                                1. re: agarnett100

                                                                                  All this suggestive speculation is great, but has anyone heard anything definitive from the Eataly folks ?

                                                                                  1. re: Lewes

                                                                                    Mario Batali gave an interview (multiple I believe) where he named DC as a place he would like to expand to. See the original post where they mention the Huffington Post article. It was also reported in other interviews and I think on Eater.

                                                                              2. re: agarnett100

                                                                                I agree they need a location with both metro and parking. Sounds like maybe to fit both (and size), that CC area is the way to go.

                                                                                1. re: lalajane

                                                                                  It says open in 2012; any idea when?

                                                                                  1. re: itryalot

                                                                                    Have not heard any news lately a 2012 opening at this point seems unlikely a build out that large would take 6-12 months especially considering a location still has not been determined

                                                                          2. here's a good bloomberg video on eataly's business model, with some interesting statistics to consider as one looks at d.c.'s demographics. http://www.bloomberg.com/video/86141750/

                                                                              1. re: tommyskitchen

                                                                                eataly d.c. -- what can i say?

                                                                                i guess my biggest issue is that there is nowhere in d.c. that will give eataly the foot traffic that it needs -- at least for the goods as opposed to the restaurant stuff. (compared with NYC).

                                                                                i am curious to see how this works out.

                                                                                1. re: tommyskitchen

                                                                                  I heard Batali et al didn't want to wait that long for the City Center space to be completed. Who knows!? I agree with the PoP, though - it has been fun speculating (but I'm a real estate geek, so.....)

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    At this stage, I'm thinking Post Office Pavilion. Trump just inked a deal to redevelop it as a luxury hotel and it's already setup as a high-volume food court. An Eataly could probably take the entire food court as well as the first two levels at least along with that restaurant on the second floor. You have a lot of tourist, Fed, and contractor food traffic, as well as transit access via Federal Triangle, on-demand street parking and (expensive) private lots. Batali gets access to a classic old building and Trump gets a destination tenant.

                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                      i heard about the trump deal from an office denizen's employee there in the bldg. (the NEH). i couldn't envision it as a hotel (unless it would be extreme boutique…but they say 250 rooms?), but an eataly, i sure could. (ps, i guess i'll noodle around to see how they'd do the hotel development in that site).

                                                                                      how many square feet is the building -- as hallways, levels are configured now (if trump is supposedly going to keep it that way?). i saw a report that it is 400, 000 sq. ft. gross space.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        According to Ivanka Trump (who negotiated the deal), the site wouldn't be ready for occupancy until 2016. I get the impression that Batali wanted a shop up and running in DC long before then.

                                                                                  2. So in other words, no one really knows anything and anything that is written here is pure supposition.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: skipper

                                                                                      yeah, pretty much. but we like to gather tidbits, ya know!

                                                                                    2. I wouldn't count on Eataly coming to DC anytime soon. According to this article in the NYT, they're negotiating for space in Chicago, then looking at LA and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

                                                                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/din...

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                        Can we retitle this post: Nobody knows anything about Eataly opening in 2012?

                                                                                          1. re: tommyskitchen

                                                                                            That reminds me. I need to hit Litteri's for some olive oil, wine, and pasta.

                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                              "Litteri's, the Poor Man's Eataly!"

                                                                                              As much stuff as the have, I'm surprise they don't need 40,000 square feet...