4

Dadeland Mall Upgrades Food Court, Adds Freshii Outpost

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

For decades, mall food courts were hubs of activity, filled with teenagers, shoppers, and employees dining on fast food while being barraged by a constant din and fluorescent lighting.  

Fast-forward to today, when consumers are more savvy about their food and experiences. No longer do people want to stuff their faces with poorly made frozen foods served on Styrofoam plates. More progressive malls are doing something about this shift by offering everything from more upscale dining to softer lighting and fresher food options. Examples of progressive food court thinking can be found at Aventura Mall, with the addition of local tenants like GastroPod and Pasha's, and International Mall, where healthy chain Freshii opened. Now Dadeland Mall is taking on the food court challenge with a major renovation and its own Freshii location. 

The changes are already underway. The existing food court will be transformed into a 19,298-square-foot dining pavilion complete with a series of dining spaces and rooms, possibly to mitigate the harsh ambient noise that a large space creates. The pavilion will be decorated in white tones with natural wood furnishings, and a central skylight will reduce the need for harsh artificial lighting. The space will also offer strong Wi-Fi service for customers to check up on the world outside mall life. The last time the mall's food court was remodeled was in 2004. 

The current 16 restaurant tenants at the food court will remain open during and after renovation. Though some are typical fast-food chains, the mall is slowly paving the way for healthier options with the opening of Thai Basil, which offers made-to-order meals cooked with fresh ingredients. The food court also houses Daily Bread, a family-owned-and-operated Middle Eastern fast-casual restaurant.

According to Irma Castor, mall manager at Dadeland, the dining pavilion will also welcome Freshii, a Canadian-based healthful-food chain that opened its first Miami location in Wynwood last November. The new, 580-square-foot space will offer salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, fresh juices, and smoothies. 

The dining pavilion's bathrooms will also get a much-needed face-lift, featuring quartz sinks, a family bathroom, and charging stations so guests can top off their phones while freshening up. 

Daiilen Rodriguez, director of marketing and business development for Dadeland Mall, says, "The redesigned space will create a true gathering place for our shoppers, tourists, and area office employees alike."

The mall, which opened more than five decades ago, continues to remain relevant because of its constant upgrades and the ability to snag hot tenants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla Motors. Just last year, Dadeland added a terrace dining wing that offers a variety of fast-casual and sit-down dining options, such as Aroma Espresso Bar, celebrity chef-driven Bobby's Burger Palace, Aoki Teppanyaki, Canadian transplant Earl's Kitchen & Bar, and Texas de Brazil. Dadeland Mall was recently named Best Mall in New Times' 2015 Best of Miami issue. 

The renovation is set for a November 2015 completion — just in time for the holiday shopping crunch.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.