Eric and Vanessa Carrara of i.e. Italian Eatery are expanding to Saint Paul’s Highland Park. The former Espresso Royal coffee shop is under construction and will re-open as a market and restaurant inspired by the mega-Italian market and restaurant complex Eataly. Unlike those hulking complexes in New York and Chicago, this spot, called Dué Focacceria will occupy 2,000 square feet.
Inside will be charcuterie, sandwiches, pasta that they’ve built a reputation for at the first restaurant, cheese boards and imported Italian products. Like their first restaurant, there will be wine, beer, and cocktails. Guests can sit down, or grab something to-go at a walk-up window, or sit down and enjoy a meal and beverage.
The couple are working with NewStudio Architecture, and Vanessa is doing the design. She has an eye for creating gorgeous spaces, i.e. Italian Eatery is a stunner, with a divine patio.
i.e. Italian Eatery first opened in the winter of 2016 inside a former pizza place, and fast became a buzzing neighborhood go-to spot. The restaurant has only expanded since then, with the addition of that patio and a popular weekend brunch.