Story by Emily Combs, Contributing writer
The Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah is gearing up for a holiday shopping season to remember by welcoming a number of new restaurants and seasonal shops, as well as an exciting new “anchor store.”
According to Director of Corporate Communications Joe Bell, the mall is in the process of developing a portion of the property that formerly housed a mexican restaurant. The space will become four new restaurants: Qdoba, Jimmy John’s and 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. The name of the fourth restaurant will be made public in the next week or so.
As plans are finalized, Kentucky Oaks is preparing the space for the restaurant chains, who will take over construction soon. They hope to be open for business by January or February.
Regarding the mysterious anchor store on track to replace the recently-closed Sears, Bell revealed only that it would be a recognizable national retailer, and that “assuming all goes well, [it] will be open sometime next year.” The identity of the new store has been a source of speculation for many shoppers, despite Kentucky Oaks’ tight-lips on the subject.
In a fast-paced world, shopping malls are required to to adapt, and the Kentucky Oaks Mall is no exception.
“More and more you’re going to see more of restaurants, and hospitality businesses like hotels,” Bell said. “That’s just the direction shopping malls are going.”
This change in the landscape hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Kentucky Oaks Mall has really developed a lot since I was last there,” Kailey Embry, freshman from Livermore, Kentucky, said.
“It’s much nicer, and has many more options,” Embry said. “And I found a lot of great deals!”
The mall will be closed on Thanksgiving, but will open again on Black Friday with normal hours.