The Food Court, R.I.P.

The "food court", staple of malldom and home of Hot Dog on a Stick, is dead, say retail architects and designers. Higher-end restaurants and softer surfaces are replacing the shiny plastic tables and Orange Juliuses of the past.

While fast food isn't going away, environments are going upscale and nicer restaurants are adding to the mix, says Retail Traffic Magazine. And as we reported back in 2008, restaurants have often become a more stable draw then retail stores.

From Retail Traffic Magazine: "Until recent years, most food courts looked like they might have taken style pointers from their counterparts at schools, prisons or military barracks. As one architect puts it, they were designed for the 'janitocracy'-easy to clean and maintain, but arranged without regard for the customer's experience. And that was just fine, as owners wanted customers only to eat and then be on their way.

As a result, food courts now have 'a stigma of cheap furniture and tile and the same old tenants,' [Marios Savopoulos, a principal at Perkowitz + Ruth Architects] says. 'And that's not what people want.'"

Full Story: Mall Owners Are Giving Food Courts and Common Areas a Facelif

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