Best Stores No Longer in the Acadiana Mall
(Lafayette, Louisiana) - Growing up, going to the Acadiana Mall was a real treat for me! Living in Carencro 30 years ago, going "into town" to the Acadiana Mall was something to plan a day around.
The Mall opened on March 28, 1979, just five and a half years before I was born. One of my favorite spots in the Mall was the waterfall at Center Court, along with the 'wishing well.' I am a huge fan of malls that feature water in some way or another. For instance, in San Antonio, I love how the River Walk goes through the first story of the River Center Mall. And, in New Orleans, I have always enjoyed going to The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and looking outside of the stores to see the Mississippi River. But it was seeing the waterfall and the 'wishing well' at the Acadiana Mall that first made me such a fan of the water concept.
Throughout the Mall's 43-year history, there have been some fantastic stores that have come and gone, as well as many that are now open. Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Macy's, and Visionworks have been some of my recent shops to visit there. When I was a kid, Aladdin's Castle was like video game heaven to me. I always had a Nintendo or a Playstation at home but playing classics like Blitz and Tekken on the big arcade machines in Aladdin's Castle - and winning tickets to buy a prize at the end just for playing the games - was something amazing! I have many great memories of hanging out with my Dad and my brother for hours at Aladdin's Castle!
As I thought about Aladdin's Castle, I began to think about other great stores in the Acadiana Mall that are no longer there. And I wanted some help jogging my memory. So, I decided to pose the questions to listeners: What is the best store no longer in the Acadiana Mall?
It was so great to see the stores that came to everyone's collective memory! Some of the stores I remember; some of them I don't. Again, I was born five years after the Acadiana Mall opened. By the way, I was able to find a couple of commercials featuring the Acadiana Mall from my birth year - 1984.
I'm sure many great memories came flooding back when you watched the commercials! And I can't forget about the puppet show amphitheater and the movie theater.
Hey! Did you notice the sign for Wicks 'N' Sticks which featured hand-carved wooden candles and candle holders from all over the world.
How about the woman "shopping" at Merle Norman? Remember "try before you buy?" The new sales approach that let customers try on products for free before buying them became very popular.
Another store that was mentioned by listeners was Sears. The store was closed recently in 2017 and is being renovated and turned into a climate-controlled self-storage facility. Fortunately, for those who still love Sears, their outlet store in Lafayette still offers great appliances (I should know because I just bought a refrigerator and a washer and dryer from there earlier this year).
Musicland/Sam Goody was another store mentioned as well - also known as "the record store." Until music could be heard on our cell phones, record stores were such a part of our lives and this was a premiere record store in Lafayette's premiere shopping center. As you can see in the photo of Jessica Simpson from 2004, Sam Goody in its heyday was a giant in the music industry.
Here are some of the other stores listeners pointed out:
One place I wish I had gone to was Orange Julius! I love orange juice and their take on it was something that other people rave about. Maybe I need to head to a Dairy Queen that sells them.
So many amazing stores made their mark in the Acadiana Mall. And while some stores are no longer with us, we will always have the memories of them that will forever live on with us.