It’s been almost two years to the day since Marc Vetri tweeted: “At Eataly in New York. I mean seriously. It’s packed to the gills. Could this work in Philly? Because we are ready to bring it if you are.” And the word on the street (for a while) has been that the 50,000-square-feet Mario Batali-backed New York City marketplace has its sights set on the Strawbridge’s Building at 8th and Market streets. So today, I asked Marc Vetri where things stand.
We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors that Mario Batali wants to do an Eataly at 8th and Market in the Strawbridge’s building. Have you heard much about that?
I have. But he’s not necessarily involved. There have been negotiations for the last year. We were actually looking into doing a large market there, and then the real estate developers have also been in touch with the guys from Eataly. It’s all like in the early discussions.
But specifically for 8th and Market?
It’s all solid rumors, but it’s all so… I’ve been talking with those guys for almost two years. Yes. It’s nearing where it with either happen or it won’t. But something awesome will happen there. What it is, will it be an Eataly? Will it be a new market? I don’t know yet. It would be awesome for Eataly, but who knows? I know the Eataly management, and I think if the discussions progress, then [Batali] will take a look. It’s all initial. What do you think of Philadelphia? Everybody’s doing their due diligence right now. They have to kind of wrap their arms around doing something in Philadelphia.