There was no fanfare when the Tic Toc Cafe on the first floor of the Downtown Macy's reopened late this morning. Just a cheerful welcome to customers stopping in for a lunch that is an order of tradition with a side of refurbishing.
The restaurant is called the Tic Toc Cafe, an homage to the iconic Kaufmann's clock that has been ticking off Pittsburgh minutes for decades. Today -- after a brief timeout for remodeling -- the Tic Toc started its new era.
"A 'refresh' might be the best way to characterize it," said Brian Rojek, general manager of the department store's food operations. "We've enhanced the lighting and changed the color scheme."
A change that was warmly embraced by the first customer, Cathy, a 74-year-old who preferred not to give her last name.
"The color scheme is really nice. This is much brighter. As soon as you walk in, you see that it's different," said Cathy, who lives Downtown and eats in the restaurant a couple times a week.
"I used to come up here when it was Kaufmann's," she said. "It's changed. But everything's changed. Downtown's changed. But this is really good."
Cathy, who was having an order of wedding soup, said she is eager to see the menu changes that are part of the restaurant's relaunch.
"We've added a feature card. From now through October we're featuring an Octoberfest menu," said executive chef Norm Domek. "That's new and exciting for us. That's something we've never done before."
Chanel Giordano, 49, an interior decorator from Hickory, was making her first-ever stop in the Tic Toc.
"This is exciting," she laughed while waiting for the waitress to deliver her chicken pot pie. "Whenever I come Downtown, I have to stop in at Macy's. You can't come to the city and not stop in at Macy's.
"But I didn't even know this was here until one of the employees mentioned it. It was raining and this was really convenient."
It's that convenience that the restaurant employees are banking on. As the holidays approach -- and the operating hours expand -- they're hoping customers and the growing Downtown student population will make the Tic Toc part of their routine.