After two-and-half years in, Eataly Chicago is throwing in the towel for its separate fine-dining restaurant Baffo. Diners have less than two weeks to try it again before it closes on May 29. Baffo, which was loosely based on co-owner Mario Batali's NYC stalwart Babbo, garnered mixed reviews and wasn't as consistently busy as the other facets in Chicago. It was the first upscale separate restaurant at any Eataly.
In a statement, reps say that the restaurant "is not capturing the Chicago diner as intended." They compare the shutter decision to other changes at the Midwest's first Eataly: "We have taken much pride in constantly changing our store based on guest feedback and being honest regarding the decisions we make as a company."
Baffo opened on Dec. 13, 2013, 11 days after the rest of the land of magic and pasta descended upon River North. It garnered some praise and some mixed reviews before closing temporarily for renovations nine months after opening. The restaurant's chef left last spring to helm a healthy meal delivery app.
Eataly will not control the space after Baffo closes, and reps don't know what will happen to it. But reps do say that Eataly Chicago will "unveil new dining concepts, menus, and design elements over the upcoming months." Stay tuned for all of that information.