Celebrating its soft opening, the Asia Mall in Eden Prairie enjoyed its first weekend open to the public. The soft opening was originally slated to run from Nov. 10-19, with a grand opening planned for Nov. 20. But the grand opening has been pushed back, according to a mall representative.
Located in the old Gander Mountain store, the mall currently has about nine restaurants, a hair salon, a grocery market, and an insurance and travel agency.
Many seemed to be ready for the new concept, which aims to promote local Asian businesses. “Our goal is to create a unique experience whereby Minnesotans can shop for fresh Asian groceries, pick up live seafood and dine at the top local Asian restaurants, all in one place,” according to the Asia Mall website.
Checkout lines for the grocery market rest in the center of the mall. But surrounding the mall was a mix of sit-down, counter ordering, and fast-casual dining options. Lines seemed to be at every restaurant.
The technology at the mall stood out. Both children and adults seemed entranced by a robot that moved back and forth in front of a currently closed hot pot restaurant. Screens for orders were seen in some of the restaurants and the lighting seemed to be mostly all LED and designed with the intention for the space.
If you plan to visit the Asia Mall, make sure to check out the Facebook page to ensure you don’t need to register that day. Registration was a requirement on Sunday, Nov 13. Also, make sure to park in the lot as the website claims you will be towed if you park at nearby businesses. For more info on the mall’s grand opening, visit Facebook.com/asiamallmn.
Chris Juhn is a contributing photographer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.