Plus, the bagel pop-up everyone's talking about
 
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6AM City In-House pt 2

Today’s Forecast

98º | 24% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 5:54 a.m. | Sunset 8:34 p.m.

 
You could shop... until they dropped
A dark, abandoned store interior. Small pieces of debris are scattered around the floor, and a piece of flooring has been torn up.
An abandoned JCPenney in the former Cloverleaf Mall circa 2011.|Photo by Will Fisher via Wikimedia Commons
Shopping malls across America have been left in a state that not even Paul Blart could save, and Richmond is no exception.

Known as “dead malls,” these abandoned, dilapidated, or mostly-vacant shopping centers have become a subject of fascination — especially thanks to the online popularity of liminal space aesthetics.

Let’s go to the mall

Regency Square Mall was once in its heydey, boasting stores like JC Penney and Thalhimers and a food court that was added in the late ‘80s. Photo archives show the mall bustling with life during the holidays and a parking lot packed with cars in 1990. By 2019, however, the mall was left with only JC Penney as an anchor.

~10 miles away, Cloverleaf Mall opened in 1972 as the largest indoor shopping center in the area. Locals may remember its 20-ft pool + various plants adorning the mall’s interior. After slowly losing tenants and sitting mostly empty, Cloverleaf officially closed in 2008, with mall demolition beginning in 2011.

A front-facing shot of a JC Penney store that spans two levels. The lower level is bordered up, but the top level is open with the lights on. One person is seen walking to the left of the store. On the ground floor, a group of four lounge chairs sit empty, and a lone plant rests nearby.

Regency Square Mall’s JC Penney circa 2019.

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Photo by Elyse Horvath via Flickr

Back to the future

Today Regency Square Mall is still around, but not as it once was. Plans to redevelop the mall into a mixed-use space have been in the works for several years now, and the mall was partially razed in 2020. Most recently, redevelopment leaders announced a small expansion.

As for Cloverleaf Mall, it became Stonebridge Shopping Center — a multi-use center with Kroger, restaurants, and specialty shops.

Though these malls have changed, Richmond still has a number of other thriving shopping centers where you can make like NSYNC and buy, buy, buy:
  • Willow Lawn | This former indoor mall is now a sprawling shopping center with retail and restaurants. Further mixed-use development is also in the cards.
  • Short Pump Town Center | The outdoor mall recently celebrated 20 years of business in Henrico.
  • Stony Point Fashion Park | The Huguenot shopping center is home to major retailers, local dining, and a CMX CinéBistro.
  • Chesterfield Towne Center | Pro tip: A permanent PopUp RVA marketplace opens Aug. 1 at this Southside shopping center.
 
Asked
 
Do you have memories of a local mall from back in the day?

Share them with us and we may feature your story in a future newsletter.

First date at the food court, trying on prom dresses at the department store, hitting up Orange Julius before picking up the perfect graphic tee at Hot Topic — we wanna hear it all.
 
 
Events
 
Friday, July 5
  • Maggie Walker’s 160th Birthday Kick-Off | Friday, July 5 | 5-11 p.m. | Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall St., Richmond | Free | Celebrate Maggie Walker’s birthday with music by the Love Movement, Axt Museum, and Big Fancy, plus a student art show.
  • Flying Squirrels vs. Bowie Baysox | Friday, July 5 | 6:35 p.m. | The Diamond, 3001 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond | $10-$25 | The FUNN doesn’t stop after the Fourth of July — get to the Diamond early for Happy Hour and stay after for fireworks.
  • First Friday Super Sampler | Friday, July 5 | 7:30-10 p.m. | Coalition Theater, 8 W. Broad St., Richmond | $0-$15 | Enjoy a tasty sampling of five improv comedy acts.
Saturday, July 6
  • “The Princess Diaries” | Saturday, July 6 | 7 p.m. | The Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary St., Richmond | $9 | Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews star in this coming-of-age classic.
  • The English Channel | Saturday, July 6 | 8 p.m. | Dogwood Dell, 600 S. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond | Free | Get ready for a British pop invasion at the Dell as part of the Festival of Arts.
Sunday, July 7
  • Leftover Salmon | Sunday, July 7 | 5:30-11 p.m. | Maymont, 1700 Hampton St., Richmond | $35-$50 | Get ready to jam with the Colorado-based band and Railroad Earth as part of the Music at Maymont series.
Tuesday, July 9
  • Blood Drive | Tuesday, July 9 | 12-4 p.m. | Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond | Free | Sign up to give blood and get a free Red Cross umbrella and a movie ticket while supplies last.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Open
  • You may have spotted a new mobile coffee business around town. Chris and Stephanie Haggerty launched Daily Coffee Co. last month, selling coffee made from local roasters and snacks out of their vintage bread truck. (Richmond BizSense)
Outdoors
Theater
  • Calling all backwoods Barbies. Virginia Rep’s summer show “9 to 5: The Musical” runs through Aug. 4 at the November Theatre. Check out this review of the talent-packed comedy and get your tickets. (Richmond Family Magazine)
Eat
  • You’ll have three chances to try Sunday Bagel in July. The pop-up has three events coming up — the first is this Sunday, July 7 at 10 a.m. at Väsen Brewing. They’ll also be somewhere in Malvern Gardens on Sunday, July 14 and back in Scott’s Addition on Saturday, July 20.
 
 
Answered
 
We quizzed you on one of the city’s oldest parks.
RICtoday_MonroePark_BeforeAfter_Gif
See what Monroe Park and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart looked like in the 1960s versus today.|Historic photo by Richmond City Planning Commission via Library of Virginia, contemporary photo by RICtoday
Almost half (~45%) of respondents had the right idea — what was once “Western Square” is now Monroe Park.

Western Square was one of the first properties acquired by Richmond Parks and Recreation. Libby Hill — then called Marshall Square — and Gambles Hill Park were other early acquisitions, each dating back to the 1850s.

Gambles Hill is no longer a public park. The city made a property trade with new Market Corporation to acquire Brown’s Island in the 1980s. The hill will soon be home to the Richmond Amphitheater.

Now that you know the history, get involved with the future of city parks by contributing to the vision plan.

Inspired to get outside? Check out our full parks guide at the button below.
 
The Buy
 
Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Sleep Gummies, which help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed (without grogginess). The organic ingredients include valerian, chamomile, and lavender. Get 30% off site wide when you spend $55 with code CBDSLEEP30.
 
 
The Wrap
 
Robin Schwartzkopf in a red button down shirt Today’s edition by:
Robin
From the editor
Don’t worry — we’ve already added Daily Coffee Co. to our local coffee guide. I’m excited to try the Nutella latte when I catch the truck around town.
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