downtown los angeles, financial district

Rumor Mill: Eataly Renews Interest in Downtown LA, “Serious Discussions” to Open at The Bloc

Rumors have it that New York's enormously popular Eataly restaurant and market is in serious discussion to open as part of Macy's Plaza's $160 million makeover (Photo: The Bloc)

Rumors have it that New York’s enormously popular Eataly restaurant and market is in serious discussion to open as part of Macy’s Plaza’s $160 million makeover (Photo: The Bloc)

Not so fast West LA. A source who wishes to remain anonymous has informed me that Eataly — the enormously popular Italian restaurant and market from New York founded by Oscar Farinetti — is in “serious discussions” to open at Macy’s Plaza, or more accurately, as part of the future $160 million makeover project called “The Bloc.” In case you missed it, Macy’s Plaza was purchased by The Ratkovich Company earlier this month in June for $241 million with exciting plans to redo the entire complex, including a $40 million Sheraton revamp and a multi-million dollar upgrade to elevate the current dismal Macy’s to flagship status.

Back in early 2011, partner Joe Bastianich confirmed that plans were to bring Eataly to Los Angeles. Although most signs pointed to West Hollywood or other parts of West LA (like the Beverly Center) as the most likely location for Eataly LA, those “in the know” knew that Downtown LA was indeed on their radar screen, albeit only for a short while since it wasn’t easy finding a suitable and attractive 50,000 square foot space.

However, given The Ratkovich Company’s urban-minded and community-driven philosophy, the situation has now changed in favor of Downtown LA as The Bloc would have just the right amount of space (up to 50,000 square feet) in an incredible, highly-dense and walkable location (and directly across the street from LA’s busiest metro station). Eataly would take over a substantial portion of the lower level where the current food court is underneath Macy’s department store.

Because The Bloc will be essentially opened up to the outside (the dated glass atrium will be removed and portions of the ground-level walkway will be reconfigured for optimal accessibility), parts of Eataly would spill into the future outdoor courtyard. It goes without saying that if Eataly does indeed sign onto The Bloc, it would be a game-changing anchor that would add some serious muscle to not only the complex, but Downtown LA as well.

I’m crossing my fingers it happens.

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18 Comments

  1. wow i REALLY hope that eataly will open here! I think there is so much more potential for it at this location in downtown than on the westside. There simply is not enough space to do eataly justice if it was opened in the westside, and I think downtown would be able to realize more fully the vision for eataly.

    I’ll b going to new york for the first time in august, and I plan to go to eataly and see what it could potentially look like in downtown. As you say brigham, this could definitely be a game changer! *fingers crossed*

  2. Lawrence says

    This would be a huge addition to the Bloc project and Downtown in general. I really hope this happens as it would provide a very solid anchor to the former Macy’s plaza and would be key in attracting a range of high quality retailers to the renovated space. Crossing fingers!

  3. Brian says

    EATALY IN DTLA?! Ace Hotel, Bottega and Eataly on restaurant row… that would be HUGE for all of us. Ugh… can I make my reservation now?

  4. brando says

    that would be amazing in DTLA. my only concern is one of the best draws to EATALY is the rooftop beer garden. would that be in LA too? where?

  5. archie says

    Wow! This would be the most exciting dining and food shopping center in DTLA. Eataly in NYC is always packed. The pastas! The pizza! The desserts! The gelato! The bread! The produce! I’m ready!

  6. My only concern is that it will be located in the basement. Hopefully, they will have at least a street level “entrance lobby” where people can take an escalator to the main food hall.

  7. Pat says

    Yes, the basement area of Macy’s Plaza is not too flexible and therefore not necessarily an easy fit for an ambitious new food emporium. I’m referring to the low ceiling heights and lack of natural lighting in much of the space below what’s mainly Macy’s main floor above.

    One design feature that makes Eataly in NY so appealing is the somewhat higher ceilings, which is the same feature that another large Italian food place, but one that’s in LA — and that presumably would be the main competitor to a downtown Eataly — Bottega Louie, is able to take advantage of.

    Eataly’s second branch in America will be opening in Chicago later this year (in a building that once housed an ESPN Zone), and that can also be looked at when trying to estimate whether the downtown LA location is going to be workable to them or not. If it’s more the latter than the former, then rumors about their also considering options like a slot in the Beverly Center may be one that pulls through.

    But the westside, or midtown (as westsiders would consider sites on La Cienega), compared with Downtown is increasingly becoming so predictable and overly non-urban-urban. However, if it weren’t for the success of Bottega Louie, and its presumably healthy sales volume, I bet Eataly wouldn’t have looked quite as closely at Downtown LA.

  8. Esquire Rollins says

    I live in the Historic core of LA and I can tell you that would be a big game change along with the new hotel being built on fig and 7th the new subway corridor its soon to be a mecca state.

  9. iloveeataly says

    I work in DTLA and Macy’s plaza is as creepy as it gets! It’s SO run down and always empty. It’s also right across from the ghetto metro station where there are constantly homeless and crazy people on drugs loitering around. Weird religious people are always handing out flyers outside of Macy’s plaza or trying to sell CDs. I avoid this place and the surrounding area at all costs. DTLA is also dead on the weekends, most restaraunts (except for higher end ones like BL) are closed. I get they’re trying to improve the area but that plaza would be the absolute worst, grungiest, creepiest location for Eataly!

    • Lawrence says

      Did you actually read the story, like the part where Ratkovich is going to inject $160 million to renovate and completely reimagine Macy’s plaza? The dated mall you see will be completely different once finished. Eataly isn’t being dropped into the current artrocity. I recoomend actually reading before comenting. Also downtown is not really dead on weekends anymore and businesses like eataly will go a long way toward attracting more interest in the area at all times.

    • JS says

      Umm…clearly you don’t live downtown…”DTLA is also dead on the weekends…most restaurants are closed.” Huh? You literally have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Brandon says

      I agree JS, this person obviously does not live downtown and judges the neighborhood based on his commute and the 15 minutes he takes to step out of his office, grab lunch and take it back to his desk.

      • Brian says

        I always try to stay away from the great unwashed masses. Yuch!!!

  10. archie says

    “the restaurants are all closed…” like Baco Mercat, MoChica, Bar Ama, Rivera, Alma, Mas Malo, Drago, Maccheroni Republic, Chaya, LA Live,
    etc. Excuse me, they’re all open with many others. You can’t get in Baco, Alma, Rivera or Ama on weekends evenings without a reservation. Come on down.

  11. archie says

    closed? Oh, i forgot. More busy restaurants in DTLA : Bestia, Wurstkuche, The Lazy Ox Canteen, Fuga, The Spice Table, The Parish, Artisan House, Soleto, Patina, Cole’s, Blossom, Colori, Phillipe’s, Pete’s and the whole world of Little Tokyo, Chinatown and The Grand Central Market! And Orsa and Winston coming soon.

  12. N samarco says

    I hope it is a rumor…west LA much better location! Eataly is not inexpensuve and the populous of West LA more in cinque with Eataly

  13. Topher says

    Early just open in the century city mall. So it’s probably won’t happen in DTLA unless they are second location. Bummer.

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