A long-time tenant of The Pines mall that shut down a few years ago will reopen in August, according to Scott Green, manager of the mall.
Speaking Tuesday to the Pine Bluff Rotary Club, Green introduced Mike Denney, who will be the owner-operator of Garfield’s restaurant.
Denney, who was the first manager of Garfield’s at the mall and the owner-operator of another Garfield’s at Vicksburg, Miss., said the restaurant will undergo a complete remodeling, with construction scheduled to start in June.
He said the bar area will feature large-screen televisions and take on a sport bar look when the facility is opened.
“I can’t stop smiling about this,” Green said. “Everywhere I go, people have asked me why Garfield’s closed and if they were going to reopen.”
Green also updated members of the civic club on developments at the mall, saying that when Andy Weiner, president of Weiner Development, bought the property, “it was on life support.
“The national tenants were not happy and stores were pulling out, something the city could not afford because we don’t want a big, empty building when trying to attract business and industry,” Green said.
He said that in little over a year since the ownership has changed, “we’ve stopped the bleeding and added six stores.
“Everybody wants national stores and those will come,” Green said. “The six stores we’ve added are locally owned and that’s important.”
Green mentioned Jack and Jill, a family entertainment center that relocated to the mall from White Hall and whose owners have opened a second store offering party supplies, and the University Shop, which moved to the mall when their former property was acquired for the new Walgreen’s drug store on West 28th Avenue.
In the next few weeks, Green said the mall will be the site of an ECO ATM, which will allow people to take their old cell phones in, plug them into the machine, and be paid cash for the old phones.
“This is actually kind of a neat thing and only gets placed in high traffic areas,” Green said.