After much rumormongering and twiddling our thumbs, Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali have finally confirmed the new location of Eataly in Chicago, their Italian megastore slash restaurant slash grocery store.
Chicago's Eataly will take up some 60,000 square feet of retail space in a former ESPN Zone on Ohio Street near Michigan Avenue, the New York Times reports. This will be the 20th Eataly worldwide, with other outposts in New York, Italy, and Japan.
Since the Windy City is home to many a gourmet marketplace and sausage place (ahem Gene's), Bastianich promises that Eataly will get their sausage inventory up to par, plus offer a grill restaurant "in homage to the Eastern European tradition of sausage in Chicago," Bastianich said. Last we heard, the Chicago location might just have more restaurants than New York, space permitting.
They plan to open the new store in September 2013. Further expansion plans involve Los Angeles, Istanbul, São Paulo, and Bari, Italy.