Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Neiman Marcus comes to Walnut Creek

Neiman Marcus opened the doors to its new store in Walnut Creek last Friday...that's five days ago!!!

I've been more than frustrated at not yet having been in the store excuse that I was in Palm Springs until Sunday and have been busy with work and school since my return.

At any rate, today was my day to check out the new store.

And, it is gorgeous!!!

It's cheerful; it's bright and airy; it is filled with tempting items; it has a small but very intriguing restaurant. I thought I'd just spend an hour or so there, but wound up being there for over two hours. And, my apologies to the men, I never even went into the men's department which looked beautiful from afar and occupies about half the first floor.

As for merchandise, it is high end, but not outrageous! Lots of designers, many of whom are also carried at our nearby Nordstrom.

Here are some pictures of some of the women's departments:

The jewelry department features a mix of known jewelry designers and lesser known smaller designers. In the displays for the lesser known jewelry designers, there is a card with a photo and short biography of each what art museums do in their gift shops where they sell jewelry. Actually, the jewelry department is much like that of an art museum.

The restaurant is small and serves an informal menu of mostly salads and sandwiches. It has just 13 tables and I'm told that each meal is accompanied by Neiman Marcus's legendary popovers. There are several menu items created just for Walnut Creek, including the Walnut Creek Salad and a special Walnut Creek version of their secret-recipe Chocolate Chip Cookie. Prices are in the $10 - $15 range which seems reasonable for a meal with table service in a pleasant setting. Reservations are not being taken at this time, so arrive early for lunch or expect an average wait of about half an hour. The restaurant serves the same menu all day long and is open weekdays until 7 p.m. and on weekends until 6 p.m. This could be a good place to stop for a light meal before a movie or performance at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts.

This photo is from a resting area near Customer Service, looking toward the restaurant.

There is beautiful art work throughout the store, all from Neiman Marcus's private collection. Specially commissioned works by 30 Bay Area artists are displayed.

This is a seating area in the Ladies restroom...nice furniture, pleasant art.

I am delighted with the new Neiman Marcus. It's a nice boost for Walnut Creek's downtown and is sure to boost the downtown retail economy.

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