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Eataly’s Expansion Plans Hit Hurdle In Chicago

February 26, 2013

The plans to bring a branch of the food emporium Eataly to Chicago could be complicated by the refusal of the current tenant, a Texas de Brazil restaurant, to honor an eviction notice and vacate a 24,000-square-foot space in the city’s River North neighborhood. The landlord, Macerich Co., terminated the Texas de Brazil lease in October, with the assumption that Eataly would immediately take over the site, at 51 E. Ohio St., and invest $20 million in new construction before opening in the autumn of 2013. The current tenant contends it wasn’t given enough notice to vacate the premises and is asking for a five-year lease extension. The entire dispute is now headed to a local county court for an eviction hearing. A spokesman for Eataly, which is owned by a group that includes celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich, did not immediately return an e-mail requesting comment.

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