It would be a bar cut like no other.
On Thursday afternoon, the CEO of the world’s largest Italian food store will cut the grand opening bar – made of pasta, of course – and open the doors of Eataly Silicon Valley to what potentially hundreds of Italophiles fans line up at the Westfield Valley Fair.
Inside this three-story, 45,000-square-foot culinary mansion, shoppers and shoppers will find a market of 10,000 fresh and canned foods (pasta, cheese, salumi, olive oil, sauces, gelato, wine, espresso, and more); meat, seafood and produce counters; Two restaurants, several cafes, tables and bakeries. and a wine shop with 1,200 bottles and a tasting room.
It’s Northern California’s first Italian and retail coup for the Santa Clara/San Jose Mall, which is close to completing a billion-dollar expansion.
Italy was founded in Turin, Italy in 2007 by Oscar Farinetti, who first made his name with a chain of consumer electronics stores before taking inspiration from the markets of Istanbul, London and Barcelona to turn to food. He originally planned to call the project “Eat Italy”, and then decided to go with a portmanteau. He and his son Nicola, now CEO, have spread the joy of Italian cooking and dining globally, with 41 locations around the world. This is the eighth in the United States.
The Market Hall’s “Shop, Eat, Learn” concept informs offerings and planning. Open kitchens and “production labs” abound. Each dish consists of ingredients that can be purchased on site to enjoy at home. Coming soon: cooking classes and specialty dinners.
“You’ll see the artisanal products, you’ll see the talent, and you’ll see the work involved in producing and serving food,” Raffaele Piaroli, chief operating officer of Italy North America, told Bay Area News. Our kitchens will be visible. You will see how to make pasta and how to make bread.”
True to their promise when the project was first announced in 2019, Italy executives have partnered with a number of Northern California service providers, including Cream Co Meats, Green Bee Farm and Straus Family Creamery.
Here’s a quick look at what Italy has to offer:
opening day: Yes, expect lines. “We always get a lot of excitement from the community surrounding the store on opening day, and that excitement translates into people wanting to be the first to experience the store,” a spokeswoman for Italy said.
Addresses by local VIPs and Italy’s CEOs will begin at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Starting at 5 p.m., guests can enter via the outside entrance into the Valley Fair Restaurant Courtyard. (There is a gift for the first 100 people in line.)
On Friday, Italy will open more entrances but are keeping a close eye on the crowds. Normal business hours will be in effect. (See below for details.)
First round: The takeaway restaurants are located on the ground floor, giving customers easy access from the mall to pizzeria alla pala, with flatbread pizzas made with stone-ground Piedmont flour and baked on oars; Café Lavazza, a Turin espresso specialist serving cups of pecerin (espresso, hot chocolate, milkshake) and other coffee drinks; La Gastronomia, with fast food platters and pizza slices; La Pasticceria, featuring cannoli and tiramisu; and Il Gelato with flavors handcrafted on site.
second floor: This floor is dedicated to Italy’s Vino, with 1,200 wines representing all 20 Italian wine regions, from the high Aosta Valley in the northwest to Calabria and Sicily in the south. Wine education classes will take place at La Scuola.
Third Floor: This 30,000-square-foot floor is home to two seat restaurants—the TERRA deck and La Pizza & La Pasta, both with bars—along with new counters, demonstration labs, and a 10,000-product market. TERRA reservations are full, but seats may be available at La Pizza & La Pasta.
Hours/Details: It’s 5pm open on Thursdays only. From Friday, Eataly will be open daily at different business hours. First round: Caffe Lavazza and La Pasticceria, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pizza Ala Pala, La Gastronomia, and El Gelato, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. second floor: Wine shop, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Third Floor: The Italy market has the longest opening hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. most nights, until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays. New counters, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Restaurants: Terra, 5-9pm most nights, until 9:30 Friday through Saturday. Neither pizza nor pasta, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. most nights, until 9:30 from Friday to Saturday. 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. , Santa Clara; www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/silicon-valley/