Woodfield Mall, a perennial disappointment for hungry shoppers, is reinventing itself in the suburbs by adding a new dining area. The changes aim to make the suburban shopping center friendlier to visitors with discerning appetites. The 820-seat pavilion (they’re not using the phrase, “food court”) should add “more than a dozen fast-causal eateries” and be completed in fall 2018, according to a news release.
The release didn’t mention specific tenants. Shopping center officials revealed the renderings on Monday morning during a Schaumburg Business Association Breakfast, according to The Daily Herald. The pavilion will be located on the upper level, near the Sears.
The 46-year-old mall has lacked a food court and past dining options —like McDonald’s and A&W— were spartan. The court would complement the shopping center’s current tenants which include a veritable “who’s who” of typical mall chains like The Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, P.F. Chang’s, and Rainforest Cafe. Perhaps the “multimillion dollar” project will bring the small closer inline to the offerings at Oakbrook Center. The facelift to that suburban mall includes DMK Burger Bar, Stan’s Donuts, and Porkchop.
Woodfield Mall includes around 300 stores in the Northwest Suburban Schaumburg. At 2.2 million square feet, it’s the largest shopping center in Illinois and among the largest in the country.
Stay tuned for details on specific restaurants.
UPDATE: Kurt Webb, Woodfield’s GM, added a few more details on the project in a Wednesday morning interview. Woodfield’s leasing department is working to grab a mix of national and Chicago restaurants. They’ll likely be already established names, so don’t count on finding the next Hanbun.
Simon’s, Woodfield’s parent company, has built projects like this at other malls across the country. They’re trying to retain shoppers, having them spend more time at their stores. It’s competitive world as Internet shoppers continue to take customers away from brick and mortar retailers.
“It’s great for the community to see that the ‘shopping malls are dying narrative’ it not true,” Webb said. “Woodfield is thriving and we’re showing a commitment in reinvesting in our assets.”