Is the future of Macy’s Walnut Room in jeopardy?

CHICAGO — Macy’s is trying to redevelop the top floors of its flagship location on State Street, home to the noted Walnut Room, a Chicago staple.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet said in a call with earnings analysts that efforts to downsize the store’s presence is “one of our top priorities in 2017.”

The decision to downsize the store on State Street raises concerns for the future of the Walnut Room, the first restaurant to ever open in a department store, in the then Marshall Fields. It opened in 1907 and is a main attraction for Chicagoans during the holiday season. It’s elegant dining room displays a 45-foot-tall Christmas tree that many visitors enthusiastically hope to get seated by for dinner.

The Walnut Room originally began as a tea room, an idea inspired by a Marshall Field’s clerk who shared her chicken pot pie with a tired shopper. By opening a tea room, women shoppers would not need to return home for lunch when they were already out shopping. The Walnut Room still serves the traditional Mrs. Herring’s chicken pot pie today.