West Acres Mall Spices Up Culinary Options Through “The District”
The first restaurant, Minneapolis-based Crave, will open in West Acres this spring
FARGO, N.D. — With plenty of space left over after Sears closed last year, West Acres is looking to mix in new flavors to its culinary scene.
West Acres leadership announced the creation of “The District”, a 30,000 square foot project that will focus on enhancing the dining experience at the mall.
With enough space for four or five restaurants to set up shop, mall leaders say “The District” goes beyond the food.
“People want experiences. When they come out to a place like a shopping center these days, they want to be able to sit and have a meal as well as shop, so that is a trend that is happening in the industry right now and we’re just happy we have the space to be able to offer something like this to the community,” said Chris Heaton, the Senior Vice President of Property Management at West Acres.
The multi–million dollar development project also meets a growing demand for more sit–down restaurants at the mall.
“We’ve got a very successful Chili’s here and a very successful Granite City out on the path side, but the demand for restaurants continues to increase and the mall is a perfect location for a restaurant cluster,” Brad Schlossman, the CEO of West Acres, said.
The first restaurant to be included in “The District” is Crave, an American kitchen and sushi bar based in Minneapolis that will open its first location in North Dakota this spring.
Crave will operate in the space once occupied by Radio Shack and Lux Spa.
The restaurant has 12 locations across the country, including a spot inside the Mall of America.
“Well Crave fills a niche for fine casual. It has excellent food and excellent service,” said Schlossman.
With a vision in focus, mall leaders say “The District” gives shoppers flexibility with several culinary options.
“If you come out and you want to go to one restaurant, maybe they’re a little bit busy, you don’t have to get back into your car and drive somewhere else. You could walk right next door or just walk down the hall and see where you want to go eat, so I think what we’ll have to offer is something pretty unique. A cluster of restaurants that are not available in town right now,” said Heaton.
Mall officials say that “The District” should $15-20 million to complete.
In addition to Crave, they have reached out to dozens of restaurants to fill the space.