As retail changes, so does the Mall at Wellington Green.
The shopping mecca at the corner of State Road 7 and Forest Hill Boulevard in Wellington is boosting its dining and entertainment offerings, with a new eatery opening soon and several new stores in the works, said mall marketing director Rachelle Crain.
“You are going to see more and more of that happening here at the Mall at Wellington Green,” Crain said of the shift to entertainment and dining from traditional retail.
The CMX movie theater — formerly Paragon, before it was bought last summer by the luxury arm of the Cinemex theater chain — opened in February 2016, marking one of the first entertainment additions. The neighboring gastropub Cask + Shaker opened soon after.
The nearby space that formerly housed Toojay’s now is home to The Beauty and the Beeeef, a hip burger joint that opened last week. Its offerings include towering burgers, creamy mac and cheese, gooey grilled cheese and poutine.
Sunday Mood. 😋 Post Cinco De Mayo Vibes 🌮 - - 🍜: Hong Kong Noodle Soup - - INGREDIENTS: Roast Pork, Scallions, Homemade Wontons x 3, Ck Broth . & the rest is 🤫🤫🤫 #Sushi #Salmon #RawCut #teamlemongrass #SushiRice #BocaRaton #FortLauderdale #DelrayBeach #Wellington #SouthFlorida #AsianRestaurants #Foodie #Foodie
The mall expects Lemongrass Asian Bistro to be the next restaurant to open. It sits to the east of CMX, with a large “living wall” marking its entrance. The popular chain — with locations in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale — serves a mix of fresh Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese foods.
“We’re very excited to see them opening soon,” Crain said.
On the upper level of the mall across from The Beauty and The Beeeef is the recently opened Cafe Pastelitos, which serves Latin cuisine. The menu includes empanadas, guava and cheese pastries and a variety of coffee beverages.
Cottage Garden Teas, with offerings fresh-brewed teas and unique gifts, and Hamsa Boutique, a women’s fashion boutique are scheduled to open soon.
New on the entertainment side: a Holodeck Center, offering mixed-reality gaming in a space near the mall’s Grand Court. The first Holodeck opened in July in Stamford, Connecticut. Since then, the company has expanded with another location in Connecticut, plus two others in New York and Louisiana.
While no opening date has been set for the Holodeck at Wellington Green, Crain said it should be open by the summer.
“We’re creating this whole entertainment and dining destination,” Crain said.
Such a shift could keep Wellington Green viable long after similar shopping malls. Research firm Credit Suisse has tracked the downward slope of brick-and-mortar retail locations, reporting last year that it expects a quarter of shopping malls to close in the next five years.
Wellington Green’s owners, Starwood Retail Partners, earned accolades recently for its entertainment offerings through the Live 360 series of classes and workshops. “We’re willing to try something different to engage the community,” Crain said.