Mario Batali's Eataly and Public Food Markets Expand Across America

Trendspotting: Public Food Markets

Eataly, the Italian food emporium backed by Mario Batali, made a splash last Summer when it opened in Manhattan's Madison Square Park. One year later, it's still surpassed all expectations, even doubling financial projections. And that's just the beginning: today, Eataly co-owner Joe Bastianich announced plans to roll out Eataly in Los Angeles and Washington DC, with the next opening coming as soon as the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, others have caught on to the success of the 60,000-square-foot public food market, which includes, among other shops, a fish restaurant, a pasta and pizza joint, a panini bar, and a brewpub. Top Cheffer Bryan Voltaggio has admitted to modeling his upcoming Frederick, MD, venture, North Market Kitchen, on Eataly. The San Francisco International Airport's shiny new terminal includes Napa Farms Market, a food emporium that features locally produced foods, a dining court, and takeout meals to go. And Oakland's up-and-coming Jack London Square has long had a public market in the works.

With its manifold shopping and dining options, is the all-encompassing specialty "public foods market" the food scene of the future? What do you think of the concept of one-stop shops for culinary education, browsing, shopping, and dining?

Source: Flickr User Carl MiKoy

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