The news broke back in July that New York's colossal Italian food emporium Eataly was planning to expand to DC, possibly even before the previously reported expansion to Los Angeles. And people rejoiced. Though the Washington Post briefly threw some cold water on the whole thing a few months ago when they quoted some skeptical anonymous brokers, today has brought more rejoicing with the news that Eataly has actually narrowed its search down to "three or four locations." So, obviously, the next question is — what are these mysterious locations?
Folks around the blogosphere have begun to speculate — and, in fact, some of this speculation has been ongoing since the original announcement in July. So let's take a look at some of the best guesses as to where a 60,000-square-foot marketplace with a beer garden could make its home in this fair city.
1) CityCenterDC: The City Paper's Housing Complex reporter Lydia Depillis wrote this morning that her best bet is CityCenterDC, the enormous retail project coming to the old Megabus pickup lot near the Convention Center. There is, indeed, an enormous amount of space available here, but one drawback is that this project isn't supposed to open until beyond the 2012 target that Eataly initially laid out. [WCP]
2) The Shops at Georgetown Park: The Post's Tim Carman takes a stab at the puzzle, too, pointing out that this Georgetown mall asked a number of its retailers to vacate back in September. He postulates that this kind of move would "signal something big — like making room for the Italian-themed Eataly, with all its markets and restaurants." [WaPo]
3) Farragut Square Borders space: UrbanTurf speculated back in July that the vacant Borders bookstore space near Farragut Square would be a possibility except that it is on two levels — and this space might be a little small anyway. [Urban Turf]
4) ESPN Zone: In the same article, Urban Turf talked to real estate broker Tom Papadopoulos, who brought up the old ESPN Zone space. It's unclear whether this is even still an option, but at any rate Papadopoulos noted at the time that this space is two levels and thus perhaps not a real candidate in the first place? It's also a bit on the small side for what Eataly has said it is looking for in a space. [Urban Turf]
Any other ideas? Leave 'em in the comments.