NEW YORK -- "EatZi's is on its way!" That's what Macy's Herald Square store here is telling its customers, with this huge poster that hides EatZi's construction-in-progress on the lower level.
atZi's in The Cellar department of Macy's flagship store in midtown Manhattan is now set for late October, EatZi's president Lane Cardwell told SN late last month.
"We've tried to work very hard with Macy's to get this done well before the Thanksgiving crush of customers comes. We're really excited about this. So is Macy's," Cardwell said.
EatZi's is the hybrid restaurant-grocery concept launched by Dallas-based Brinker International and restaurateur Phil Romano in Dallas in 1996. Since the Dallas opening, EatZi's has opened units in Houston and most recently in Atlanta.
Even before EatZi's debut in Macy's, New York's Long Island will get its own stand-alone EatZi's. That unit is set to open in Westbury in July, Cardwell said.
In Macy's Cellar, EatZi's will occupy approximately 13,000 square feet and will displace Ottomanelli's, a sit-down restaurant which has already been taken out to make way for EatZi's.
The selling floor at Macy's EatZi's will be about the same size as EatZi's selling space in the first three units, approximately 8,000 square feet, Cardwell said. About the same amount of seating, to accommodate 40 to 50 people, will be provided, too, Cardwell said. He added that Macy's plans to provide some additional seating at small tables and chairs in adjacent aisles.
EatZi's and Macy's struck their deal late last year. As reported in SN, 1/5/98, the lease was signed in mid-December after negotiations that had stretched out over several months.
At the time of the lease-signing, Cardwell told SN that he was particularly excited about the link-up with Macy's because it will give EatZi's a Manhattan presence, but in a protected way.
"It [Manhattan] is a tough market to operate in, but under Macy's roof, there's a lot of things we don't have to worry about," Cardwell said.