NEWS » Eataly's new 40,000 sg ft venue in London

Eataly's new 40,000 sg ft venue in London

Good news for Italian food lovers: Eataly, the Italian food hall brand, is set to open a gigantic 40,000-square-feet venue in London’s Broadgate development this year. The news was reported by the Evening Standard but it’s difficult to put your finger on it, as many announcements have been made in the past regarding the opening of Eataly in London. Apparently, the “foodie theme park” will feature restaurants, shops and even professional lessons in preparing Italian dishes.

Eataly was founded 14 years ago by entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti and now has 35 megastores all over the world, including in Tokyo, São Paulo and New York. The plan to open in London originated a long time ago but a suitable location was never found. Apparently, Eataly is now about to sign a lease with British Land, which is redeveloping the building at 135 Bishopsgate previously occupied by Royal Bank of Scotland. This location is also close to lively “City fringe areas” such as Shoreditch and Spitalfields which have recently become trendy.

On 15 November 2017 Eataly inaugurated its new food theme park in Bologna, the world’s largest agri-food park with three dozen restaurants, a gigantic market, and a variety of "multimedia experiences" based on food, farming, and craft.

The organisation behind Eataly, Fico – Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Italian Farming Factory) – is the result of a collaboration between Bologna’s mayor, Virginio Merola, and Oscar Farinetti, the principle figure behind the Eataly food brand. Eataly is not only very successful in the US and Asia but also, quite surprisingly, in Italy. The project in fact introduced a set up American style not completely in line with the Italian tradition. It took four years to complete, at a cost of €120m and works with over 150 Italian small and large companies, creating over 3,000 jobs. Fico predicts it will attract 6 million visitors a year, a substantial boost in tourism, but Eataly has been criticised for its American megastore style overtaking small businesses and radically changing food tourism in the country. Some people defined Eataly an outlet on the outskirts of the city, where you might go for a day trip, which has nothing to do with experiencing the taste of the traditional food and the atmosphere of the area.

Giulia Lombardo

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