A Variety of Trendy Eats Are Now Available at the Borough’s Only Shopping Mall
By: Lauren Silverman
As online shopping skyrockets in popularity, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to remain open due to lack of foot traffic. Stores have closed by the thousands across the country, including big names such as Toys R’ Us and Sears.
In order to prevent closures, shopping centers must save their stores. The Staten Island Mall was one such establishment facing this issue.
As a result, the mall underwent a transformation that has shocked Staten Islanders. One of its most prominent changes has been the addition of a massive food court on the second floor.
The new dining area, called the Food District, replaced the old food court in the central part of the mall on October 11th. Unlike the old location, the Food District has its own wing in the mall, designed exclusively for eating and socializing.
The mall now boasts a bevy of dining options that were originally unavailable in Staten Island. One of the most highly-anticipated openings in the Staten Island Mall Food District was Chick-fil-A, a popular fast food chain that offers a variety of chicken-based options.
Shake Shack, a hamburger chain known for its crinkle fries and Instagram-famous green buzzers, also made its Staten Island debut. It is located directly outside the Food District in a separate building alongside Chipotle.
Dave & Buster’s, a sports bar and restaurant that holds a large arcade, is one of the most popular newcomers to the Staten Island Mall.
According to silive.com, it holds 170 arcade games worth $1 million. It contains a mix of retro games, such as Space Invaders and Pac Man, and fresh arrivals, such as a giant Crossy Road and Candy Crush.
Fast food isn’t the only new addition to the Food District. Staten Island is expecting its first-ever AMC Theatre, which offers dine-in options. It is expected to have 11 screens with over 1,000 reclining seats, according to silive.com.
Melt Shop, a sandwich shop with locations in New York, Pennsylvania, and even Kuwait, offers options such as classic grilled cheese melts, tater tots, and tempting milkshake flavors.
Tommy’s Tavern + Tap is another new addition to the Staten Island Mall. Its original location is in Sea Bright, New Jersey. It has over 25 televisions and covers 7,200 square feet.
Some classic food court locations also reopened within the new Food District. These include Burger King, Sarku Japan, Greenleaf Grill, and Charley’s Steaks.
The massive mall expansion is exciting for many Staten Islanders, who claim it was due for an upgrade. The renovations include more than food court renovations, with changes taking place amongst its retail store selection.
Many of the mall’s struggling locations shut down and were replaced with popular, and sometimes higher-end, stores.
New retail stores in the Staten Island Mall include Land’s End, a long-trusted brand for academic attire and coats; e.l.f. Cosmetics, known for its affordable and effective makeup products; and Dough Life, a dessert shop following in the footsteps of the edible cookie dough trend that mesmerized food lovers in Manhattan this past year.
Whether or not these new stores will have an effect on foot traffic remains to be seen, but the mall has certainly enjoyed a boom in sales with its well-attended Food District opening earlier this season.
The old food court is currently closed.
In combating the threats of store closures across the country, the Staten Island Mall has managed to upgrade itself in a way that has drawn in Staten Islanders—some from excitement, and others out of sheer curiosity.