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.