Marc Vetri On Eataly Philadelphia: “Something Awesome Will Happen” at 8th and Market

marc-vetri-wearing-crab

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.

  • Alimentarian

    Isn’t the second casino a possibility for that building?

    • http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/ Art from Foobooz

      No, that would go in the Disney Hole (former Gimbels) across the street.

  • bogans

    I love the idea, but gotta point out, it seems kind of repetitive to Reading Terminal Market which is four blocks away, doesn’t it? Will one cause the other to stop being / not be successful?

    • Matt

      While there is some overlap, it sounds like they’d be pretty different. Also, RTM closes early evening, where a place like this probably would not. Also, if Market Street is properly revitalized (and it sounds like this could be an awesome component) there would be enough people traffic for both anyway.

      • JA

        The last time I was at Eataly it was packed at 10PM at night. Eataly is a very cool place – but I don’t think they can come into Philly and replicate the same concept 100%….ESPECIALLY the prices on a lot of the dry goods they sell. The prepared foods and the each of the sit down food concepts my do well price wise – but $12 for a pound of dry pasta isn’t going to fly here! Just my opinion!

  • eric

    Bring it to ucity/west philly. A market like that would kill out here.

    • JA

      Disagree…even for the wealthy Penn students the prices will be too high.. The sit down restaurants within the stor emat do well – but students aren’t going to buy the 1000′s of items that they sell around the store.

  • Choopy

    The last thing we need is another overpriced, celebrity chef restaurant.

    • greg

      I find Batalis places reasonably priced for the quality of food served. Would you prefer another shitty fast food joint or frat bar with bad beer and crappy chicken wings instead ??

      • TJDL

        Greg is right. I had dinner at Batali’s Babbo in NYC a few weeks ago, and I challenge anyone to find a better value for the level of food and dining experience they have there.

  • Little Timmy

    Looks like Vetri’s got a mean case of the crabs.

  • Thousandaire

    Why not open an Eataly type of place at the Finnigan’s Wake location that is now for sale http://www.phillymag.com/realestate/for-sale/finnigans-wake-is-for-sale-and-we-can-say-only-this/

    • http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/ Art from Foobooz

      I don’t think that would get the kind of foot traffic that you would need for an Eataly type of place. 23rd and 5th Avenue is a couple of worlds away from 3rd and Spring Garden.

  • Dorothy Schalleur

    I think it is a fantastic idea! Please please please build one on 8th and Market. It will be great for the city. There’s an uncomfortable gap between 6th-10th and Market. Eataly would be perfect there. To comment on the closeness of RTM.. It wouldn’t matter 1. It closes at 6- I work in the city, who gets out of work before then 2. It’s JAMMED packed with tourists Sat and Sun 3. If you’ve ever been to an Eataly there completely different. I vote in favor!