By Deanna Bergers
Woodland Mall has been undergoing renovations and developers have big plans to bring the mall back to life. The most recent announcement regarding the renovations involved the addition of The Cheesecake Factory–a restaurant specializing in cheesecakes, pastas, sandwiches and more.
The mall’s marketing director, Cecily McCabe, spoke about how The Cheesecake Factory chose to break ground here in Grand Rapids.
“We’ve been working with them for almost two years,” McCabe said. “Grand Rapids is the absolute right community for them to be in and Woodland Mall would be the place for them to come to.”
The restaurant will be connected to the mall and take the place of Bar Louie in the wing near Barnes and Noble. Bar Louie will be demolished and the space will be expanded to accommodate for outdoor dining as well.
“We have a lot of compassion for their employees, and we are going to be sad to see them leaving,” McCabe said. “We know that Bar Louie has been here a long time and (they) will be deeply missed.”
Construction for the restaurant will begin in mid-April, and the grand opening is expected to occur in mid-October. McCabe expects a grand opening event and specials from The Cheesecake Factory with details will be forthcoming.
The Cheesecake Factory’s Grand Rapids location will be the second one in Michigan, with the other being located at the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.
Other than the restaurant, the mall will be adding Urban Outfitters, A’Beautiful Soul (the sister store to Altar’d State) and REI. REI is an outdoor enthusiast retailer and their grand opening will consist of food trucks and giveaways and is expected to be on Friday, May 3.
“Change is always challenging,” McCabe said. Woodland Mall will continue its renovations and provide Bath and Body Works and William Sonoma with remodels in the updated wing along with Von Maur. Black Rock Bar and Grill will be coming to the mall as well, and is expected to bring even more traffic to the Grand Rapids area.