For about a year now, I have been stalking the opening of Mario Batali and company’s Eataly. A mecca for a little Italian girl living in Chelsea. After writing a very thoughtful cover letter and sending my resume I received a call for an interview! I diligently did my homework on all the Eataly’s across Italy and stepped into the wine cellar of Del Posto for my interview. Armed with all the right answers the man who interviewed me was very interested in my background, but my majestic visions of this Italian wonderland deflated like a balloon after he called it a grocery store on more than one occasion and the best place he thought to put me was at a customer service desk. The position I thought I was interviewing for was a sales job, and I figured I would be the cheese master, or the knowledge behind all olive oil or something like that. Alas, they offered me a job at the pasta bar for $10 an hour. I think at the time, what was holding be back the most was a complicated vision in my mind’s eye of what this place was going to be like. And of course the $10 an hour and abandoning CitiField before the season was over.
As usual the universe has it’s way of intervening into my life’s decisions. That very same day of my interview I was on the phone with one of my guests for the Brooklyn Cyclones and she mentioned the DDL Food Show a similar concept to Eatly, that crashed and burned in the 80s. We talked about the major carbon foot print the store will have and not to mention some of the bad press Batli has received about underpaying his staff. Personally from a marketing standpoint is there even a target audience for a place like this? The price points will have a major impact on how well it does. I can see it maybe doing well at lunch time in the cooler months when standing on line at the Shake Shack suddenly isn’t too appealing. From a neighborhood standpoint a couple blocks away the new Trader Joes just opened and in the other direction there is Whole Foods. And a lot of times for me, the little Garden of Eden is most convenient.
Time will tell, and I will definitely follow-up next week when I visit the store first-hand.
Until then here is an article from Eater with some pictures. The space looks nice and the thought of a vegetable butcher sounds fun!