Eataly made big news when it opened in downtown Chicago on December 2, 2013, and since I was planning to spend the Christmas holiday with my Chicago daughter and family I was particularly interested in all the publicity about it. Before I even had the chance to ask them to take me there they asked if I would like to see it…which of course I would…so we drove in from the suburbs on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We read countless stories about how crowded it would be and several of my Chicago blogger friends told us to expect huge crowds so I was a little apprehensive about trying to see the store a few days before New Year’s Eve shoppers descended on it.
We arrived at 10:30 am and as you can see the store was almost empty. I was so excited that I grabbed my camera and tried to take as many photos as I could while the aisles were clear and I could get some decent shots. I half expected somebody to tell me I couldn’t take pictures, but that didn’t happen. These shots will give you a good idea of what the store is like…huge is the first word that comes to mind. Over 63,000 square feet with 8 restaurants, 7 casual and 1 fine dining. The first week they were open over 120,000 people visited the store and they were forced to close for a day to restock. As expected, it is very pricey but we did manage to purchase pastas and a few Italian imports that were too tempting to resist. They claim to produce 70% of what they sell…the rest is from local sources and imported items. I hope you enjoy this little tour. I still can’t believe I was able to get so many pictures. By the time we left several hours later the store was packed and the opportunity was gone. I’m showing you only a small part of the store, maybe 40%. You will have to explore the rest on your own.
I hoped to see some snow on Christmas Day and, boy, did I get my wish. It was beautiful and very cold, and I was more than impressed by how efficiently Chicago handles cleaning the roads. They use salt, which we don’t here in Oregon, and I have to admit it really works. I managed to fly out on January 4th between snow storms, and I saw on the news this morning that there are many people stuck in airports in the Midwest and East. I’m so thankful to not be among them and I pray they all make it to their destinations very soon. It’s dicey business traveling in the winter.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.