Actually, this is A Tale of Two Malls.
There is a pair of malls in my county, directly across the freeway from one another. We used to call one the "rich mall" and the other "the poor mall."
The rich mall has a couple of major department stores, a Williams-Sonoma, a Gap, a Banana Republic, Pottery Barn. Decent middle-brow places to shop.
The poor mall used to look like it was in danger of closing down entirely, with a Pier 1, an eyeglasses place or two, and even a discount clothing store (Marshall's or Ross, can't tell the difference).
But the poor mall started bringing in food purveyors, including a stellar butcher (to add to the several rather OK food places that were already there, including a fun Italian deli). It got a twee French cafe (pastries, mostly, I suspect — not my tasse of thé). It got a whole little outdoor food court of fast food joints, but hey — wraps and burgers are somebody's can of SoBe, I suppose. It got a frisky fish restaurant, sorta fusion-y, to replace one of those dreary salad bar lunch emporiums populated by disheartened office workers. There's even a very good, once-a-week farmers market.
Meanwhile, the rich mall shut down its food court. Too tacky, I guess, although Cranky and I used to happily go there for sushi, Korean dishes and bottles of beer, which we would enjoy at the outdoor tables. There are still places to eat at the rich mall, and I'm going to name one: The Cheesecake Factory. (Shriek!) And there's a hot dog stand.
I am perplexed. Is food slummy? Did the rich mall kick out the eateries because eating is incompatible with Bailey Banks & Biddle?
I suspect they ousted the food court to put in a higher rent-paying tenant.
So on the other side of the freeway, the poor mall is now looking fairly swank, with an influx of good stores, my favorite of which is The Container Store (but that's just me; many of the other places are fancy, and there's a Sur La Table). The mall is busy, happy, rescued.
There's a moral in this story.
And there's a PS. The "poor mall" is now home to P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro, a totally fake, sort of American-delicious restaurant so large it almost echoes. Nice looking; part of a chain. But it has the stink of sadness — deserted after lunch hour; waitstaff forced to act as bussers. We brought home some of our leftover hot and sour soup; not bad but not great. We'll see where this goes.