Friday, January 2, 2009
Walnut Room at Marshall Fields [ Now Macy's]
WALNUT ROOM: Opened 1907 ..
In the early 20th century, men had gentlemen's clubs ... but there were hardly any place for women to socialize ... Those days ladies shopping downtown had to return home for lunch, as having lunch unescorted by a gentleman was considered unladylike ... Marshall Fields filled this void by becoming the first departmental store to start providing lunch/tea in this Walnut Room, opened in 1907!!! How this started is also very interesting ...
Way back in 1890, a Marshall Field's clerk Mrs. Hering, shared her lunch with a tired shopper ... it was a chicken pot pie ... Field's hit on the idea of opening a department store tea room, where women could eat [and not have to return home for lunch] ... This increased both their duration and frequency of shopping. Also women would come with their friends, so it soon became a place where women could socialize. Whats interesting is that the oldest culinary tradition "Mrs. Hering's Chicken Potpie" is still served in the Walnut Room ...
Marshall Field and Company..