EATZI'S TALKS WITH MACY'S MAY HERALD BIG APPLE UNIT

DALLAS -- An Eatzi's located inside the flagship Macy's department store in midtown New York is possible if negotiations with the New York-based department store chain go well, said officials at Brinker International here.Brinker, which launched the hybrid restaurant-grocery store Eatzi's here last year, is currently in talks with Macy's, according to Tim Doke, Brinker's vice president of public affairs.

DALLAS -- An Eatzi's located inside the flagship Macy's department store in midtown New York is possible if negotiations with the New York-based department store chain go well, said officials at Brinker International here.

Brinker, which launched the hybrid restaurant-grocery store Eatzi's here last year, is currently in talks with Macy's, according to Tim Doke, Brinker's vice president of public affairs. The proposed site is the basement of Macy's Herald Square.

Doke said Brinker would explain its rationale for considering a location so unlike the first Eatzi's site if a deal is completed.

Meanwhile, the opening of the second Eatzi's, as reported in the March 3 SN, is on schedule for Aug. 28 in Houston, he said.

Macy's Herald Square is one of the busiest stores in the world, and for years the company has sold fresh meat, seafood, cheese, bread and prepared foods from shops on its cellar floor. Currently, much of the area is closed for renovation, and a Macy's spokeswoman said a New York City-based takeout/sit-down restaurant was scheduled to take over the space shortly.

In many ways the site is the opposite of Eatzi's first, heavily trafficked outlet in Dallas, a stand-alone unit with high visibility on a major thoroughfare and its own parking lot.

In the proposed New York site, competition would still be fierce. The low-ceilinged space available offers no street-level access. There is also a lack of parking, intense midtown traffic, and by 7 p.m. on weekdays and earlier on weekends, the neighborhood is generally empty.