On the Road Again

I’m up in Chicago on business for a couple of days. It’s always nice to see Michigan Avenue at Christmas time I must say. Also I got a chance to drop in at the much-hyped food boutique Eataly. The short review: very slick, very big with an impressive selection top-quality Continental foods and groceries. It’s very “on-trend” in the sense that it’s a good example of “experiential retail”, but I wonder how many people can afford to shop at a place like this. It’s like Whole Foods only…more. Only time will tell if a concept like this can succeed with so much competition in high-end retail. Personally I’d rather be up at the Vienna Beef factory story getting a hot dog. In fact…

8 thoughts on “On the Road Again”

  1. I’ve wondered about that myself. Folks are talking about Eataly as if they were talking about church. Weird.

    1. It’s impressive no question. And the Chicago one is 63,000 square feet, so there’s a lot to be impressed by. I think if you’re the type of person who’s looking for a magic/unusual/top quality item or ingredient that will make the next meal shine, then I guess it is sort of a paradise. The place still has plenty to offer a do-it-yourselfer like me of course — there are lots of ideas in there as well — I just wasn’t as captivated. There’s lots of neat stuff but it all comes at a price, most of the time more than I’m willing to pay! 😉

      – J

  2. I haven’t bothered to visit yet – which means I probably never will – but the folks I know who have gone share your sentiment. There are a lot of foodie types in the city, but if everyone only goes once, and then Mario and Co. rely on tourists to keep the joint humming, can it last? We shall see. I’d much rather visit, say, a neighborhood market run by the same adorable couple for 40 years.

    1. Well said, Beth. I wonder what the long-term potential of the concept is.


      – Joe

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