Eataly Chicago-Bound: Mario Batali's Eatery To Take Over Former ESPN Zone Site

10/16/2012 01:06 pm ET | Updated Oct 16, 2012

Yet another celebrity chef is set to bring their creations to Chicago. And no, we're not talking about a new Paula Deen's Kitchen within city limits (just saying!).

The New York Times on Monday confirmed the long-standing rumors that the chef Mario Batali-affiliated high-end Italian food-court-plus-supermarket Eataly will be moving into Chicago's River North neighborhood and is expected to open in September 2013.

Eataly co-owner Joe Bastianich confirmed to Eater Chicago that Eataly will be signing a lease on a 60,000 square foot retail space at 43 E. Ohio, formerly the site of an ESPN Zone, Tuesday. The store will be Eataly's second location in the U.S. and its twentieth in the world.

Bastianich explained to Eater that Eataly's concept is to both "bring the best of Italy and embrace the best of what's local." As such, the Chicago location will offer local favorites with Eastern European roots like sausage and beer in addition to Italian offerings.

The store is expected to bring about 500 new jobs to Chicago.

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