DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Eat, shop, and learn.

That’s the motto of Eataly, which opens its doors on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at NorthPark Center.

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It’s meant to be a marketplace and gathering place filled with the flavors of Italy, but the gathering part is a little tougher these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are expecting a lot of excitement from Dallas and want to temper that excitement because of safety conditions,” said Eataly Managing Partner Adam Saper.

So the three restaurants, market, food and beverage counters, and retail will open at 25% capacity.

Eataly in Dallas (CBS 11)

Masks are required, the cooking school is virtual, and to-go and ready-to-eat options have been expanded.

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“At the end of the day, we’re creating jobs and we were ready to open and we’ve learned how to operate during this pandemic,” said Eataly Managing Partner Alex Saper.

They’ll take reservations at the restaurants and stick mostly to outdoor seating. They’ll also deliver using third parties.

“Clearly, people need to eat, and we want to eat, and we just say life’s too short not to enjoy good food,” said Adam Saper.

It’s required creativity during COVID-19, but they hope North Texans find the anticipated addition was worth the wait.

“We want to be able to bring this to the city of Dallas, and it’s just about following the safety proctors and having a great time while we’re at it.”

This will be the eighth Eataly in North America and the first in Texas.

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