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Buena Park Mall Downtown Review - Stores, Restaurants, and General Info
The fabulous Buena Park Mall, a 1.1 million square foot multi dimensional shopping center, is located within the vibrant, quasi upscale, rapidly evolving and improving, energetic entertainment district known affectionately to most residents who frequent this venue as the "Downtown" region of the city, or simply by its technical marquee moniker "Buena Park Downtown". Essentially, both entities, the mall and downtown, which are actually distinguished by three separate names, "The Mall", "Downtown", and "Park Place", concurrently share overlapping portions of the same physical geographic location on which a common shopping and dining area was built and therefore, according to visitors I had the distinct opportunity to engage with in casual conversation, all entities are essentially considered one in the same even though each sports an entirely different marquee for swift identification, individual recognition, or, presumably for advertising purposes. The shopping center, and "Downtown", of which includes the regional and internationally renown "Krikorian Metroplex Theaters", is a main focal point in Buena Park of which is surrounded for several square miles by high profile, desirable, consistently escalating in intrinsic value, Southern California real estate. An increasing acreage percentage of which is planned, zoned, and dedicated to highest and best use via authorization to incorporate the construction of immaculately maintained residential developments and precisely blueprinted tight knit communities, and continued improvements to a permanent centralized quality of life enhancement micro city situated within the larger overall framework and scope of the municipality.
This forward looking, proactive posture of which was adopted, exercised, and prudently implemented by local elected officials in concert with a fully engaged, enthusiastically interested general public consisting of longstanding property owners who have embraced the basic concept of fostering a business and tourism friendly environment, accompanied by subsequent complimentary alterations and modifications to the approved blueprint when needed and justified, have ensured local, state, national, and international visitors are given more than ample opportunity to savor their precious allocated time designated for everyday leisurely activities, physical fitness goals, or, maximizing time management and enjoyment when on vacation, by taking advantage of, and fully engaging in this blossoming local "Fun Zone Conglomerate". A tourist friendly region in which sits an extensive assortment of multi purpose entertainment venues including the fabulous "Buena Park Mall". All amenities of which are situated within literal walking distance of each other presenting a close proximity convenience that affords all local residents, guests, and loyal patrons, the opportunity to attain maximum life enhancement value for visitation hours spent.
At the genesis of dawn, In the midst of another clear, blue sky, balmy 78 degree Southern Californian early morning at approximately 6:00 AM on January 31st - I once again arose from a peaceful slumber gently entangled in a typical state of exuberant life appreciation fashion, indulged in a light, health conscious breakfast, and subsequently entertained the thought of altering my previously scheduled and confirmed Southern California exploration itinerary by visiting a regional landmark shopping center and popular tourist destination I had not visited in several years verses maintaining my plans to embark upon a route that would have led me to an alternate destination - I contemplated, then, within literal seconds, the decision was made - At approximately 9:30 AM on January 31st, in an exceedingly anticipatory, excited frame of mind, I would begin my relatively short trek to the mall at Buena Park Downtown - This is how my sentimental and most pleasurable day trip unfolded - Within the overall framework, you will find a collection of exclusive images coupled with invaluable knowledge I had attained and documented, which enabled me to create the following descriptive narrative to be shared here, in this chronicle, with a universal audience -
*NOTE: All the images that appear in this condensed photo stream were captured immediately after the mall doors opened on a weekday before the impending crowds had a chance to gather and congregate - I rapidly maneuvered through the shopping center with camera at the ready to take advantage of the elusive, difficult to capture, pristine views before the inevitable influx of shoppers materialized - Then, once the images were documented, I proceeded to relax and navigate my way through the main corridors and quaint side avenues of the mall at a moderate, comfortable pace to enjoy my inquisitive, fact finding exploration and casual shopping experience - If framed properly, I believe simple images of a mall can be transformed into artistic expressions - These are some of the most recent inductees to my treasured travel gallery -
DRIVING DIRECTION TIPS -
- From the 91 Freeway - Exit Beach Blvd. - Turn Left (South) onto Beach Blvd. - Turn Left onto La Palma to "Mall Entrance" located on the right hand side -
- From Beach Blvd. Driving North - Turn Right onto La Palma Ave. - Turn Right into "Mall Entrance" -
- From Beach Blvd. Driving South - Turn Left onto La Palma Ave. - Turn Right into "Mall Entrance" -
BPD Mall Address -
8308 On The Mall
Buena Park, CA 90630
- INFO: (714) 828-7722
- Hours: http://www.buenaparkdowntown.com/go/displayHours.cfm
<> PARKING <> ACCESS <>
The Buena Park Mall is situated at the very center of an expansive, multi acre parcel that is completely encompassed by a massive parking lot designed for hassle free ease of access. A visitor consideration and convenience that is literally just as big in total square footage as the actual shopping center itself, with available spaces estimated by a visual scan to easily number in the thousands. Unquestionably one of the largest vehicle accommodation dedications I have personally ever experienced at any retail outlet venue of similar size and scope. Literally, from north to south and east to west, the lot stretches almost endlessly in all directions until the pavement meets either a street or the borderline it shares with an adjacent residential development, with the department store / restaurant conglomerate situated within what appears to be the exact center of the parcel. It's simply enormous and contains more than adequate general customer, and disabled reserved slots situated within all parking isles, with designated spaces located closest to the store front entrances for convenient access. The expansive parking lot segment located directly in front of the mall on the north side adjacent to La Palma Avenue, is designated as the primary source for visitor use with additional slots on the south side available to both visitors and employees. If you decide to park your vehicle here, check to see if there is easy pubic access to a store or restaurant entrance. Parking throughout the entire lot is free regardless of time of day or duration of the stay.
<> DEPARTMENT STORES / SHOPS / BOUTIQUES / ISLE MERCHANTS <>
One of the very first things I noticed immediately after crossing through the main entrance, aside from the obvious fact that both the interior and exterior had been completely remodeled since my last visit and looked utterly amazing, was the self sustaining nature of the mall. Apparently, a direct result of the overall re-structuring coupled with enhanced neo contemporary design which now resembles a cozy, fully functional miniature ecosystem within the larger overall municipal component. In addition, The "BPM" is now conveniently segmented in name with several street signs found throughout the retail corridors for easier navigation, while still maintaining an all inclusive shopping element by hosting several large retail and deep discount department stores, intermediate sized specialty shops and boutiques which cater to a wide variety unique tastes and eclectic essentials, and small, quaint, "Barter & Exchange" style sole proprietorship "Isle Merchants". All of which offer a wide range of products including jewelry, both costume and high end, genuine precious metal and gemstone selections including gold and diamond, specialty foods and drink, and a variety of other delectables and or merchandise, all of which are offered at varying price points yet very reasonably tagged for a retail mall environment, where traditionally, quality driven establishments dedicated to providing consumer friendly shopping attempt on a daily basis, to maintain a comfortable, or "Workable" profit margin while concurrently leasing very desirable square footage at such a high profile, upscale shopping venue. An accounting reconciliation or financial "Balancing Act" of which at times, can be a challenge to sustain.
While the BPM hosts a wide variety of top notch, exceedingly posh and glamorous high end specialty item shops and boutiques domiciled within the venue of which cater to the elite, no limit disposable income demographic, the mall is book ended and nicely contrasted on either side from east to west, by two of the most popular big box, deep discount and consumer affordability driven stores in existence today. Namely "Sears", located at the far west end, which has been a rock solid cornerstone since its inception and subsequent ground breaking of the shopping center decades ago, and universal favorite "Walmart", which is situated due east, a welcomed tenant since 2004. Needless to say, both bargain driven, consumer friendly outlets are main shopping attractions of which serve as a value buyers magnate for the practical, everyday consumer. To augment the upper and lower echelon range of merchandise offerings, there are several moderate sized and priced, product specific establishments such as "Bed Bath & Beyond", "Kohl's", "Bonita Bridal", "Milano Shoes", "Things Remembered", and a host of others dedicated to satisfying a more narrowly focused shopping experience.
For your convenience in Locating & Identifying a specific BPM retail offering - The following is a complete list of Stores & Shops situated within the Buena Park Mall (Downtown) Shopping Center -
Alphabetical Store Directory - Retail / Boutique / Specialty:
A - E
F - M
O - Z
GNC Live Well
AAA Gold Exchange
Howie’s Game Shack
Pic A Boo Baby 3D Studio
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
Bath & Body Works
RB8 Kids Store
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Ross Dress For Less
Kool Nail, Spa & Hair
The Scrub Shop
BP Cellular/Metro PCS
Living Stone T - Train
Caps for Life
Lucky Body Jewelz
Sears Auto Center
Cash For Gold
Lucky Gold & Silver
Sugar Plum Festival
Cool Cuts 4 Kids
Max Wireless I
Max Wireless II
Toys R Us/Babies R Us
Michael's Arts and Crafts
Viva Photo Studio
Designer House Furniture
Dollar Book Fair
Modern & Antique Pro
We Play Global
My Dream Home
Wedding Design Center
My PCS Wireless
<> BUENA PARK MALL RESTAURANTS <> ON/OFF Site <>
There are several high profile, conventional, and alternate specialty motivated eateries which offer both traditional sit down and order to walk dining, most of which are located within the grounds of the Buena Park Mall with a few others domiciled adjacent the shopping center on La Palma Avenue. If the extensive list of restaurants situated on site are tempting yet you prefer an authentic tasting Italian beef sandwich, or specialty hot dog, or, would just like to get some additional cardio time in to hopefully burn off even more extra calories, there are four eateries located outside, on the parking lot grounds approximately one hundred yards from the mall and easily within comfortable walking distance. "Chili's", "Portillo's" and a others, which are technically still considered integral parts of the mall property, but are physically situated outside the retail center on La Palma Avenue for interior congestion mitigation and presumably higher main street visibility.
In addition to the previously mentioned dining spots, there are also several restaurants located within a very short drive of the Mall in just about every conceivable direction. Most notably, and a bedrock establishment for decades, is the "Claim Jumper", an eatery that is what I would consider very reasonably priced and sports a renown regional and tourism driven international reputation for serving a southwestern flared variety of entrée and appetizer dishes containing their seemingly exclusive trademark of delivering extra generous proportions (The "California Citrus Salad" is Incredible). This alternative dining choice is located approximately one mile to the west of Buena Park Mall Downtown on the corner of La Palma Ave.& Beach Blvd. In the same vicinity, you'll find "TGI Fridays" on Grand Ave. and "IHOP" across the street from the "Claim Jumper".
Please see the list below for all restaurants domiciled within the mall or located on the parking lot grounds (*Indicates La Palma Location) -
Restaurant Directory - Traditional / Specialty:
A - G
J - Z
John's Incredible Pizza
Auntie Anne's® H-R Soft Pretzels
Panda Express / Park Place
Pat & Oscars
Buffalo Wild Wings
Philly's Best / Park Place
Carl's Jr. / Park Place
Portillo's (La Palma Ave)
Chili's Grill & Bar (La Palma Ave)
Starbucks / Park Place
Golden Bowl / Park Place
Subway / Park Place
<> KRIKORIAN METROPLEX 18 PREMIER MOVIE THEATERS <>
Located on the exterior of the mall, directly adjacent to and approximately one hundred feet from the south side exit door at the very center of the building, sits the fabulous, world renown Krikorian Metroplex 18. An exceedingly well thought out and designed, multi screen 1930s style movie theater complete with flashing neon marquee, period exterior facade and architecture, life sized advertising posters, and harmoniously accentuated by trickling water fountains of which flow effortlessly downstream ending the brief journey by splashing softly into awaiting stone pools occupied by ravishing displays of brilliantly colored annual flora. An irresistibly enchanting setting, all of which is designed to capture your wandering imagination and lure you simultaneously into a hypnotic sense of imaginative displacement from the here and now by cleverly re-creating the grand illusion of stepping out of the somewhat mundane, daily routine of the 21st Century and precipitously entering the glamour filled turn of the century without the slightest assistance of a time machine nor magic travel portal. The common area right outside the main entrance is also my newly designated escape and retreat for creative writing stimulus and inspiration.
It's real, it's fun, and it's very reasonably priced for a premier movie theater mall offering of this prestige and magnitude. An upscale venue of which is typically subjected to premium lease rates which in turn, have been traditionally passed on to the consumer. After briefly researching ticket prices online and in real time, I had discovered to my surprise and satisfaction, it appears as if the theater owners are apparently trying to alleviate the consumer expense burden, at least to a moderate degree, by absorbing a substantial amount of the operating overhead costs thereby relieving the consumer of a budget busting day or evening out. At least that's what it feels like to the average outside observer and it's a gesture that is greatly appreciated.
- Movie Prices
- All factors considered, for a premier mall location, ticket prices for standard matinees and even special screening events including 3D features, seem to be right in line with the majority of similar high quality theaters of equal distinction. Although prices may seem consistent from visit to visit, I would recommend movie goers always check directly with the Krikorian Metroplex for updated information or changes pertaining to regular retail and potential last minute pricing adjustments. Tickets are priced from $8.00 for "Early Bird" and "Matinee" features, of which includes children, senior citizens, and active military, with adult rates slightly higher at approximately $11.00. Add an additional $2 to $3 per ticket respectively for insanely thrilling and captivatingly dynamic "Digital 3DX Ticket Prices" -
Access from inside the mall - Follow the directions illustrated on the Map/Guide located at the entrances, or, walk to the very center of the mall and look to the south - The Krikorian Theater is visible from the interior - Access from outside the mall - The Metroplex is clearly visible from outside - Park your vehicle at the southwest corner of the lot and proceed to the Theater - Parking is free for the entire balance of your stay -
- 8290 La Palma Ave.
- Buena Park, CA 90620
- SHOWTIMES: (714) 826--7469
Considering the prestigious venue, attractive, movie set retro scenery, upscale location, ease of access, use of plush, magnificently designed, alluring and well kept interior and exterior, and merely for experiencing the renown "Krikorian" name brand, relatively speaking, I believe the return on disposable income invested yields acceptable overall entertainment value - Even though the "On Site" snack bar expense for a moderately sized family can indeed strain a tight budget - Not however, a unique occurrence for an outing of this nature and essentially accepted as an automatic or "Built In" expectation when visiting the vast majority of movie theaters situated throughout the nation, not excluding the Krikorian -
<> REVIEW <> PERSPECTIVE <>
After expediently walking the entire length, depth, and breadth of the Buena Park Mall without the need to exert excessive physical strength, nor did my experience exponentially morph into an endurance challenge with each passing step, as I proceeded to take the necessary time to shop, dine, observe, evaluate, and of course acquire approximate mental geographical measurements, of which were gathered to be inserted into my overall appraisal of the commercial center, I was pleasantly surprised to find unlike some competing mega malls situated here in the Orange County Region and elsewhere across the nation, I was able to experience everything I had listed on my itinerary in a time management friendly excursion of which was performed at a comfortable pace without reaching the point of exhausting my physical fitness stamina, nor requiring a boost to my energy level via food or vitamin enhanced liquid intake. Did my unwavering commitment to regular intervals of strength training and other related physical exercises return significant health associated dividends again? A likely possibility, however, In my opinion, regardless of the state of an individuals physical conditioning, the Buena Park Mall in my opinion, is a model geographical size and this expansive, roomy, yet non-gargantuan venue is conducive not only to a fine shopping experience, but a very manageable and enjoyable physical pace.
Once my assessment was complete, I somewhat rapidly came to the logical conclusion that this shopping center I had not visited in at least a decade, was precisely what I had expected and eagerly anticipated. Subsequent to parking my car in the large, expansive lot, after standing motionless to briefly size up the exterior improvements and capture a set of high resolution exclusive gallery images, then, approaching the center, catching the automatic door opener sequence, walking in, and finally, after so many years had elapsed, gazing in all directions at the beautifully designed, contemporary, customized interior, I had realized it was so much more than I had envisioned prior to embarking upon my journey. Unquestionably, in my opinion, the near perfect mall with respect to square footage, parking accommodations, stores, shops, restaurants, movie theaters, concierge service, proximity to complimentary entertainment venues, and just about every other aspect I could possibly think of including a somewhat important consideration, reasonable price tags.
In addition to the common tangible elements we expect to be incorporated in a shopping mall and subsequently evaluate in accordance to our specific criteria, I found the venue to be big and roomy enough to accommodate claustrophobia prone or "Space Sensitive" shoppers, of whom should be quite able to navigate all isles and nooks with relative ease. Even for the health conscious such as myself who prefer a brisk cardio workout while "Malling", yet also like the practical idea of a moderately condensed, compact structure to ensure a semblance of directional "Where With All" to avoid getting lost or separated in perpetuity from a partner or child, the experience was more than acceptable. With the preceding in mind, I was able to swiftly accomplish even the most challenging goals by maneuvering to and from the big box stores, quaint boutiques, restaurants, and all other points of interest in a relatively short time span. Even upon experiencing the inevitable arrival of an influx of shoppers who began to emerge and congregate at all points of the mall within minutes after the doors opened, I was able to remain within a shopping comfort zone. "Ease of Use", always a net positive for myself, the average consumer, on the move corporate execs, and presumably all other clock sensitive individuals as well.
Stores / Restaurants / Arcade / Shopping Experience
- For a premier shopping center devoid of demographically saturated favorites such as Nordstrom and Macey's, the abundance of general merchandise department stores, specialty boutiques, and upscale shops, more than bridge the negligible offering gap, and when combined in concert, possibly even exceeds the average availability of diverse product verses a comparable sized and structured shopping venue. The same is true in my opinion for the adequate variety of eateries. Sit down, specialty fare, isle merchant, and order & shop restaurants, all of which cater to just about every taste and preference. Steak, Chicken, Hamburger, Hot Dog, Pizza, and just about anything else you desire and expect from a shopping mall setting can be had at relatively reasonable prices.
- In addition to the standard exchange and dining establishments customarily found in a traditional shopping venue such as this, you will find a meticulously well maintained children's arcade fully equipped with all the most popular attractions designed for dedicated gamer's who are more than eager to take on the latest high tech challenge of hand eye coordination and manual dexterity. The game room is situated downstairs on the lower level with attendants standing by to assist with money exchange for the video machines or, to escort the children onto the centerpiece thrill seekers attraction if they decide to embark upon a controlled aeronautical adventure while sitting in a rotating carnival ride located in the middle of the room. The concept was well thought out resulting in a sleek, sharply put together fun center decorated with brilliant fluorescent illuminating colors designed to attract the kids and probably a few straggling, shopping weary adults as well. It's certainly the perfect amusement opportunity if of course affordability is not an issue, and now the BPM joins competitor retail centers of whom provide a fully equipped arcade of this size.
FINAL THOUGHT - When I had entered the Buena Park Mall Downtown for the first time in several years, I was somewhat emotionally touched to find this upscale centerpiece attraction had undergone considerable re-design and structuring only to result in such a demonstrably positive visual and economic outcome. A versatile merchandise trading venue of which now, post transition, exhibits an overflowing amount of "Mall Personality, Charisma, & Magnetism", more than enough to entice shoppers from both near and far. The Buena Park Mall in my opinion, now exemplifies the perfect balance between practicality, incredible bargains and value offerings, and a very classy, posh overall shopping, dining, social gathering, and movie going experience. To sum up the review and overall perspective in a few words, The Buena Park Mall and Downtown area in general, via exemplary planning, design, and careful crafting by superbly talented carpenters, stone masons, and artists, has been subsequently elevated from a great place to shop, to what is now considered by the majority as a "GREAT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE" -
ECONOMIC IMPACT <> PERSPECTIVE - Although the current overall visitor experience enhancement strategy implemented shortly after the extensive remodeling and re-design of the entire property, both interior and exterior, has unquestionably added aesthetic and intrinsic real property value to all components, in retrospect, a well structured and allocated investment of funds which seems to be consistently yielding accelerated tangible and intangible returns by attracting a steadily increasing influx of loyal shoppers fostering the expansion of a broad based local, domestic, and international customer demographic who are now more drawn into the upscale atmosphere, ambiance, and diverse mall offerings, I believe a commitment to intermittent or periodic property management re-evaluation and possible conversion, alteration, and or modifications in a deliberate, concerted effort to inject fresh new innovative perspectives, objective professional opinion, operating style, and feasible, actionable ideas, will serve the property well going forward -
As a result of the extensive remodeling to include modernized, contemporary architecture, presumably state of the art electronic components throughout, a whole host of sit down and quick serve specialty restaurants and "Isle Shops", combined with a renewed focus and dedication toward providing a spectacular overall shopping experience and not just a typical, mundane place to simply run in and out of subsequent to purchasing the necessities, The Buena Park Mall Downtown is now in the prime position to compete with the best, upscale shopping venues in its class here in Orange County and across the nation. This includes comparably stacking up against and realistically competing with, regional favorites like top tier commercial centers "Main Place Mall", "Los Cerritos Center Mall", and yes, I believe a strong prima facie case could also be made for a modest comparison to "Fashion Island" in Laguna Beach. Although a significant distinction could easily be drawn between merchandise pricing, in which consumer friendliness via product discounts would unquestionably favor the Buena Park Mall Downtown venue -
- All Articles Written, Designed, & Created By Alternative Prime -
- Exclusive, Custom Photos Created By Alternative Prime -
Buena Park Mall Driving Directions:
*The Information Center at the Buena Park Mall, located adjacent to GNC and Daniel’s Jewelers, is a one stop shop for essential guidance and even serves as Concierge for securing various modes of transportation, strollers, wheelchairs etc. - See the Phone Number listed under "Driving Direction TIPS" -