New stores, restaurants for SanTan Village - East Valley Tribune: News

New stores, restaurants for SanTan Village

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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 3:44 pm | Updated: 2:24 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

SanTan Village mall added seven names to its roster of stores, restaurants and service retailers.

Cactus Bike, Seattle-based Romy clothing, and Salt Lake City, Utah-based Shade Clothing are among the newcomers.

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"Those are the ones that have recently opened," said Jennifer Olson, SanTan's senior marketing manager. "Then we have opening this month Pandora and Total Wine & More.

Pandora is a 25-year-old Danish jewelry company that recently entered the U.S. market with stores at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, among other places.

Total Wine & More is a sort of BevMo! for wine lovers that sells more than 8,000 wines from around the world. "Total Wine & More opens on Sept. 17 and then Pandora is slated for Sept. 25," Olson said.

Those newcomers join a host of other recent arrivals including Red Robin, which opened in late June, and Satya Salon, the Valley's fourth Aveda lifestyle salon, which opened in July.

Some other shopping centers are struggling in one of the worst economic periods in modern history. But SanTan appears to buck the trend, said Bob Kammrath, a Phoenix retail real estate expert.

"There are several new shopping centers that you could point to where a number of stores just delayed their plans, so in that case it's unique," he said.

Olson said mall officials seek retailers that match the area's demographics, and they've been lucky to reel in many recently.

Carlo Bonsignore, who co-owns Satya Salon with his mother, Rose, said they chose Gilbert and SanTan Village over other areas and shopping centers because the area was so underserved with businesses offering his type of service. Aveda lifestyle salons offer a wider array of services than other salons that feature Aveda products. The only other salons like Satya are in downtown Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix.

"There was nothing out here available for the consumer," he said.

"I mean you have Queen Creek, Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler all bordering (the town)," he added. "There's a very large market."

Bonsignore also cited the mall's unusual roofless design as a point of attraction. The open-air layout means the mall more closely resembles a couple of busy city streets than it does a traditional mall.

Bonsignore said he likes the fact that customers can drive their car right up to his store and park outside.

"I'm sure that's probably a lot of people's reasoning," he added.

In addition to the newcomers, plans for a Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que have been in the works for a while. A Spirit Halloween store is also opening.

Spirit Halloween is a seasonal retailer that closes after Oct. 31.

As for Famous Dave's, the retailer has been identified by the mall's Web site as "coming soon" for some time, but officials say they can't specify an opening date.

"I don't have an answer for that," Olson said. "I know things are continuing to move forward."

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