Finally, the shopping mall nearby is finished, and they had their “Grand Open” today. There were many people and it was extremely busy, which was to be expected, given how much advertisement the whole mall and some of the individual shops did…
The neighborhood was also invited to a Pre-Open on the 4th and 5th, with shorter opening hours, not all shops fully finished etc. It was a much more relaxed experience… So, first of all, the thing received a brand new name possibly reflecting a new owner? The shop space has almost doubled, and the whole interior received a thorough revamp, making it look more airy and open, especially in the main floors. Most of the old shops are back, but there are also some new additions that I am already fond of:
- A Kaldi coffee shop, which sells not only coffee but also imported foods (Hello Milka chocolate and Nutella…). I’m glad I don’t have to go to town to shop there, although it might turn out to get very expensive over time…
- There are now decent restaurants in the basement plus a large food court with “fast food” on the second floor. The food court has doubled in size, has some natural light and nicer seating. Bonus: A brand new Korean place that even sells Samgetang, a soup with chicken that’s stuffed with rice. I can’t wait to try them out.
- There is also a nice cafe directly at the new entrance. They have a special “Coffee Time” in the afternoon with discounts on cake and drinks. It’s a bit noisy, so it probably won’t be my to-go place when I want to work, but their vanilla souffle is excellent!
- Not there yet, but coming in March, will be a Loft store. They sell household goods and all sorts of knick knacks and I hope they will also bring their stationary department, where I usually buy all the Birthday and Christmas cards I need.
Interestingly, there is only a single shoe store at the moment, down from the four or so that were there before. And the uniqlo will also open only in March, for some weird reason. Overall, I’m quite happy, even though I’m not somebody who sees shopping as a spare-time activity.
However, I will still go there every few days for my groceries. My supermarket also got a revamp, which, unfortunately, means that I will have to take a stroll through the whole thing just to look for all the stuff I usually buy and which has been moved elsewhere… They do have an enlarged delicatessen section, but the cheese is still as expensive as before.
As I said, right now things are very busy, it even seems as if they got staff from elsewhere, and I hope the excitement and the crowds will disperse over time. The only reason I was there today at all (given that I went the two previous days as well) was that I wanted to buy some Nutella, but had to wait for the Grand Open to get the 10% discount. And then I didn’t buy it after all, because the queue in front of the cashier literally wound once through and around the whole store… So, I’ll be back on Monday to do some serious (Nutella) shopping!