Downtown shops in most cities have a tradition of rolling up the sidewalks earlier than their chain brethren. Certainly we don't expect every independently run, locally owned business to rave until bar time, driving up their energy bill just in case a patron comes along. Nor do we expect them to be accessible 24 hours a day, competing with the big box stores. But, really, the stores on the Kalamazoo Mall close WAY too early.

Personally, I like to start my evenings before most. I like to have dinner plans set at 6:00, so I'm full and happy before the dinner rush starts. After dinner, why not a stroll to window shop... because that's all you can do. You can't go beyond the windows. Most of the stores are closed by 7:00pm. Even stopping for a simple cup of tea after dinner is out of the question at that hour. Is it crazy for me to think that the owners are missing out on a bunch of foot-traffic generated by hungry restaurant goers? Why close so early when the crowd is just starting?

Sure some of you work downtown, and can take advantage of all that the mall has to offer on your lunch break, but for the most part, the only time I find myself mall-bound is on the weekends for dinner and later. It's so disappointing that I can't enjoy more of it.

Bonus Videos: Foodamazoo