Eataly Is Making Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich Very Happy

The New York Times reports that the Italian mega-supermarket-slash-food-hall surpassed revenue expectations in the first year

Given Eataly's reputation as an awe-inspiring behemoth of Italian deliciousness, it's no surprise the food hall is a huge money-maker. But The New York Times reports that it's even more successful than investors imagined.

Eataly celebrates its second anniversary on Friday, and according to Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali, the expected revenue from Eataly's second year is some $85 million, or $1,700 per square foot a year, according to restaurant consultant Malcolm M. Knapp. That's a $15 million jump from the first year.

Now, Eataly makes up a third of the $250 million that Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group rakes in every year.

Of course, it's not just the Eataly store in New York raking in the big bucks; Eataly has 19 total outposts, in Italy, Japan, and New York.

So what's next for the Eataly chain? Last we heard, they were shopping around in Chicago, Los Angeles, and São Paulo. Chicago has been talked up recently, and Bastianich spills that it may have more restaurants than New York's Eataly, which has seven restaurants. "We are narrowing our search for a 60,000- or 70,000-square-foot space in the retail heart of Chicago," he told The Times.