Eataly Narrows Down to Four Possible Locations in DC

Back in July ’11 we first got word that Eataly was looking around for a DC space. I’m super psyched to hear this project is progressing. Per the Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell:

Since then, the search has quickly progressed, according to Michael R. Zacharia, senior vice president of retail services for CBRE, who is leading the search for Eataly in Washington. Zacharia said he has been looking for 60,000 square feet for Eataly and has narrowed the search to “three or four locations.” All the sites are in the District.

60,000 square feet!?!??! Awesome. I just had lunch at the NY Eataly’s roof top birreria last month. So freaking good!

29 Comment

  • Well, my Tyson’s Corner guess turned out to be wrong! So it’s in DC, eh… Perhaps the old Barnes and Noble space in Georgetown?

  • yay! though i hope it doesn’t open up in Georgetown…not metro accessible and they already have plenty of cool stuff.

    • Yes, keeping my fingers crossed it won’t be Georgetown.

    • Georgetown has cool stuff?

      • Ha! Good point. I guess I meant it wouldn’t really be a game changer for Gtown like it could be for other neighborhoods. And they already have places like Dean and Deluca, the new “fancy” Safeway, etc.

      • Yeah – feel free to check it out sometime.

      • Do not understand that negatively some people in DC have about Georgetown. Is it some kind of envy? Troubled that it is not grungy enough to be hip? Having lived in a wide range of DC neighborhoods, including in Georgetown at one point, it has stunning architecture, well manicured yards, clean side streets, a nice water front, plenty of shops and restaurants, and other cool things if you look for it (for example, and hate to contribute to increasing foot traffic to this gem, but ChingChingCha has got to be the best tea house in DC).

  • The old Woodies building. Or MLK.

  • I’m really excited that this will be actually in the District! I’ve been to a few of the restaurants at Eataly and have found some to be better than others, so hopefully the kinks were worked out at the NYC location and the DC one will only include the good stuff!

  • Wonderbread building????

    • I was also thinking Wonderbread building. Or the old Borders on 18th and L, but that doesn’t have high ceilings.

    • Too small, probably.

      Ideal location would be someplace around Chinatown/Penn Quarter. Or in Near Southeast, close to Nationals Park.

    • tonyr

      Doubtful, since one of the location criteria is for it to be close to where tourists hang out.

  • I’ve heard City Center DC from a few other outlets. If I had to put money on it, that’s where I’d wager.

    • tonyr

      The City Center site is still just a big hole in the ground. It’ll be a long time before they could open up there. BTW my comment above related to the Wonderbread site.

  • I liked Eataly but easily got turned around – I was confused because to me it lacked decent flow. I get it – stores within stores – but it’s hard to buy things when the flow is off. It could have been that I had nothing in particular to buy, so it was easy to get overwhelmed. My sister spent a small fortune on salumi, but it all looked amazing.

    That said, the bread I bought was amazing. And hopefully they’ll have a slightly bigger produce section than in NYC.

  • My experience in Eataly NYC – awesome concept, way too overcrowded with tourists to be enjoyable.

  • The lumbershed building at the Yards would be ideal – big, high ceilings, outdoor space for a beer garden. Only problem is not enough foot traffic yet.

  • Old post office building.

  • The InShaw blog reported that suits were checking out the Wonder Bread factory a few days ago. According to records, it’s about 50k square feet as is, and could easily get up to 60k+ with the right renovations and/or roof space. Seems like it could be a suitable location for an Eataly (or perhaps even that elusive Trader Joe’s). That’s especially true with the restored Howard Theatre across the street and the new development next door over the Metro.

  • The only place that makes sense to me is City Center DC.

    It’s walking distance to the mall so it could service tourists easily. It’s near a ton of offices and could draw a big lunch crowd. It’s near Chinatown and the Verizon Centre which could draw a decent after-work crowd.

    I honestly can’t see a 60K square foot food store working anywhere unless it can draw on multiple groups and stay, at least, relatively busy all day and night.

    Dupont/Logan is too far from the office/tourist crowd.
    Georgetown lacks metro access and office workers.

  • From the UrbanTurf report here is what is speculated:

    “So you’re talking Georgetown, 7th Street, maybe Connecticut Avenue and K Street, or downtown, like 14th and F,’ Papadopoulos said.”

  • What about the Franklin School at MacPherson Square? It’s big, close to down town and transit, would get the lunch crowd and tourists. And it’s a pretty building to boot.

  • Possibly that development that is supposed to be happening on M Street SW?

  • Ellwood Thompson’s space in DCUSA???

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