Let them eat… whatever they serve at the mall

Construction continues on the new food court wing at Highbury Shopping Centre up the street from us. The final holdout in the old section, a Burger King that had been there 37 years, closed last week. As the anchor for the whole Birkenhead village shopping area, the mall plays an important role, and we’re really glad they are improving the place.

It seems quite tough to figure out what to put in our downtown shops. Back in the day, there was a post office, a department store, a hardware store, all the banks had branches. But the post office is just a little kiosk in the bookstore (at least we still have a bookstore!) , the department store moved to larger premises in the mall one town over, the hardware store was killed by big box competition, and the banks have all closed their branches.

People keep trying, however. Someone just opened up a menswear store that looks a lot like Pasadena’s Bayne-Williams where I worked in the early 1980s. A dog treats store that opened last year already has a For Lease sign in the window. We have a new non-chain burger place that seems to be doing OK. Cafés and restaurants, in general, and hair / nails / massage places, are proliferating. Don’t know how many of them survive. We’ve got some thrift stores, and two ‘cheap Chinese crap’ stores full of interesting stuff. There’s a new music school, and the New Zealand Stage and Screen Combat School seems to have taken hold in the basement below the off-track betting and the dodgy massage parlor.

We hope the mall project succeeds, drawing more people into town, and that those people will spill out into the rest of the village. Even though we ourselves don’t spend a ton of money — or any money — in most of those shops, it’s definitely nice to have them there!

4 thoughts on “Let them eat… whatever they serve at the mall

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  1. Okay, you guys have got to take classes at the Combat School! The next installment of Lord of the Rings and you could be fighting orks!


    1. Couldn’t say… because at the same time we’ve had the pandemic which disrupted everyone’s shopping habits.


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