Restaurant Development & Design

WINTER 2014

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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4 2 • R E S T A U R A N T D E V E L O P M E N T + D E S I G N • W I N T E R 2 0 1 4 BY VALERIE KILLIFER, Contributing Editor W hen Eataly opened its frst U.S. location in New York City in August 2010, the concept was described by celebrity chef Mario Batali, a partner in the business, as a grocery store with tasting rooms. In fact, the New York location and a second U.S. Eataly location that opened in Chi- cago last December each feature more than 50,000 square feet of aisles and dining areas that showcase items found in traditional and specialty supermarkets. But the biggest difference is that scattered between shelves of pasta, olive oil and fsh reside dining areas that focus on the very foods Eataly sells. Each restaurant features its own theme and menu, with each one stationed next to its appropriate retail section — vegetables, fsh, meat, pizza and pasta, cheese, wine, beer, gelato and pastries. The new term for this type of market eatery? "Grocerant," which captures the essence of the combination of supermarket and gourmet eatery. "If diners enjoy what they eat, we have every single product in the store so they can purchase it after eating in the restaurant," explains Caolan Sleeper, Eataly's internal construction project manager. "Historically, Eataly doesn't feel like a traditional grocery store. We've come a long way from just a few short years ago when grocery stores were just distribution centers for food." Each section of Eataly has a designated culinary expert who gives prepara- tion tips, provides recipes and prepares the items for use. On any given weekday, between 5,000 and 8,000 people walk through Eataly in New York. That number jumps to upwards of 10,000 on weekends. Meanwhile, more than 3,000 shoppers visited the restaurants at Eataly's Chicago location on its December opening day. "Eataly has introduced the idea of a supermarket as a food hall and has introduced the United States to what has been common in Europe for decades, if not centuries," says Nick Giammarco, creative principal, retail strategies, for Detroit's Studio H2G. "We believe that formats like Eataly, Harrods of London and KaDeWe in Berlin are formats that will slowly be mimicked in the U.S."

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