Eatzis_LakewoodTheaterWe’ve known for three years that gourmet grab-and-go grocer Eatzi’s is interested in opening a Lakewood location and learned recently that the company was looking seriously at the Lakewood Theater space — so much so that neighborhood architect Norman Alston, who has worked with the theater owners on its in-progress historic landmark designation, created a theater rendering with Eatzi’s signage.

Eatzi’s CEO Adam Romo, however, tells us that “unfortunately, it doesn’t work for us.”

“The configuration of the building is awkward for our required store design, and customer parking would be located on both the front and back of the building, which also is a deal killer for us,” he says. “Back in the day we actually had a store (Rockville, Md.) which provided customer access in both the front and back of the store due to the parking situation. We won’t make that mistake again. Over the past 20 years, we have learned so much of the required site attributes which are critical to the success of our stores. And we will remain disciplined and not deviate from those key elements.”

That assessment also would nix the possibility of Eatzi’s taking over the recently vacated Dixie House space, as that shopping center includes two-sided parking. We asked Romo if he would be interested in the empty Walmart on Lowest Greenville, but he isn’t.

“For me, being in East Dallas means being in Lakewood,” Romo says. “It took me over three years and over 25 site evaluations to find the perfect site in Fort Worth (University Park Village). It was worth the wait.”

When Romo was hired in 2011, the Dallas company had two locations in Oak Lawn and Inwood Village, and Romo has added three more — West Plano, Grapevine and Fort Worth. He has said up to 30 DFW locations are an eventual possibility.

“One day the right location for an Eatzi’s in Lakewood will come available to us,” Romo says, “and we will eagerly pursue it when it does.”

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