Eataly, the international Italian food hall brand, has confirmed that it will make its London debut, on Broadgate in the City, in 2020. The company currently operates Italian food “marketplaces,” which combine retail and restaurant concessions, in New York City, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, as well as in Japan and Brazil.
The site at 135 Bishopsgate, with access from both that main thoroughfare and Broadgate’s Exchange Square, was rumoured to have been acquired in December last year, though only today have representatives from Eataly confirmed those reports.
In a statement sent to Eater, officials said:
British Land [the landlord] and Eataly, the Italian marketplace, announce that Eataly is to open its first UK location at Broadgate’s 135 Bishopsgate in 2020. Eataly has signed an agreement for lease for 42,000 sq ft on the ground and first floors of the building.
“Eataly’s original idea is very simple,” the statement added. “To gather all the high-quality Italian foods under one roof, where you can eat, shop and learn.”
It promises a selection of “the best Italian products, restaurants, bars, quick services, exciting on-site production laboratories, and a cooking school.” Eataly will add to the restaurant and bar offering that has been instated over the past two years at Broadgate, bringing, they say, “many opportunities to learn about Italian food and culture though courses, guided tastings, demonstrations and special events.”
Luca Baffigo, CEO of Eataly said that another London food market was one of the early sources of inspiration for the entire Eataly project: “Visiting Borough Market before opening our first Eataly in Italy was a source of great inspiration for our concept,” he said. “This is why opening a place in London where people can buy, eat and learn is a very important and exciting milestone for us. Being able to bring our model into a place that is so significant for us fills us with satisfaction and stimulates us to create in London a wonderful multifunctional experience.”
The Eataly empire was founded by entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti in Turin, northern Italy, in 2004. The company now operates 35 food halls across the world, including in Tokyo, São Paulo and a flagship site (one of two) in New York City. Eataly’s most recent megasite opened in LA; rumours then circulated that the company was planning to go public.
In December, Eater reported that the company has plans to open stores in San Fransisco and Las Vegas in the next two years, as well as “more international locations in cities such as Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, and London”. London is the first of those international expansions to be confirmed. Executive chairman Andrea Guerra recently told the Financial Times that over the next decade, the company wanted to “have a store in every world capital.”