Macy’s is gearing up for the Chicago holiday season in a big way. The State Street store (111 N. State) will feature Christmas season revelry — with some twists.
For starters, due to the pandemic, the Walnut Room dining room, closed since March, will be reopening — and will for the first time in its history require advance reservations, to ensure a socially distanced experience.
The Walnut Room normally seats more than 550 people but will now only accommodate 142 diners at a time, with tables spaced at least 6 feet apart. Dining time is also limited to 90 minutes.
According to Monday’s announcement, the holiday menu features a three-course, fixed-price meal for $49.95 (adults, per person) with a variety of choices, “including Mrs. Hering’s beloved chicken pot pie, cider glazed turkey, Frango ice cream pie and more.” A kid’s meal, is available for $19.95, includes a 2020 Walnut Room holiday mug.
The centerpiece of the Walnut Room will again be the annual Great Tree, a holiday tradition dating back 113 years. Due to current in-door dining mandates, the tree will only be accessible to diners, who will receive one complimentary photo (per dining party) of their visit.
The tree, weighing about 3,000 pounds, will be adorned with more than 2,000 ornaments and 6,600 lights. A display of vintage ornaments and photos of past Great Trees will be open for viewing on the 7th floor of the store.
In addition, Macy’s will continue the annual tradition of animated holiday windows as well as the 42 signature trumpets hung high above the store’s State Street facade. The theme for this year’s windows has not been announced.
Walnut Room dining runs through Jan. 3, 2021, and reservations must be made at OpenTable.com. A $19.95 deposit per person is required (6-person max per table) and will be applied toward the check. Macy’s Platinum Star Rewards members can book reservations starting Oct. 5; general public reservations begin Oct. 9.
And if you’d rather enjoy a Walnut Room holiday celebration at home, Macy’s is also offering Holiday Family Meal Kits. The kits are available for order beginning Nov. 27, and serve 4 to 6 people. The $95 kits include a choice of three meal options: Mrs. Hering’s pot pie dinner, family-style oven baked meatloaf or holiday turkey and gravy. Desserts and wines are available as add-ons at an additional cost. Kits can be ordered through GrubHub for delivery to select areas or contactless pickup at Macy’s Seven on State.
Note: Customers are required to wear a facial covering while shopping all Macy’s stores. Walnut Room diners must wear a face covering while seated at all times (including when interacting with staff), except when actively eating or drinking, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Macy’s will provide masks for diners who do not have one.
Contributing: Adam Mahoney