Rumors of a Boston location of Eataly, a massive marketplace of Italian restaurants and groceries, have been swirling for quite some time. Once Mario Batali and his team tweeted in February that it was "very close" to becoming a reality, tipsters whispered that it would be located in Back Bay, at the Prudential. (The team had previously expressed a particular interest in either Back Bay or the Quincy Market area.) Indeed, the Prudential is where it's almost officially headed.
A lease is close to being signed, reports the Boston Globe today. If everything goes as planned, Eataly Boston could open in mid- to late-2016, spanning 45,000 square feet over three floors. In addition to its marketplace, Eataly would have at least six restaurants, including a 300-seat rooftop grill and brewery. The current idea is that it would take over the existing Prudential food court, according to the Globe, and part of it would be inside of a new building that is under construction.
Founded in Italy in 2007, Eataly is approaching 30 worldwide locations, with two currently open in the United States — New York and Chicago. Batali and Joe Bastianich's B&B Hospitality Group makes up part of the team; Batali and Bastianich just opened their first Boston venture, Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca, yesterday at Fan Pier.