Vintage Photos of Northgate Mall Being Built and When It Opened
Nestled along I-10 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Northgate Mall, now part of the fabric of "Upper Lafayette," stands as a half-century-old complex on 1800 Northeast Evangeline Thruway. In recent times, the mall has embarked on a revival mission, offering cost-effective rental spaces to entice local entrepreneurs, particularly from diverse backgrounds. Yet, in its prime, Northgate Mall stood tall as the pinnacle destination in Lafayette.
The beginnings of Northgate Mall
Acquired in 1967 from Billeaud Development Co., Northgate Mall's initial lease agreement was inked with K&B Drugs, marking the commencement of its rich history. Before Acadiana Mall on the south side claimed the limelight in March 1979, Northgate Mall was the quintessential hub for top-notch shopping and entertainment in Lafayette.
Northgate Mall in its heyday
In its prime, Northgate Mall housed a plethora of sought-after businesses, including The Fair, Weingarten's, K&B Drugs, Montgomery Ward, Gordon's Jewelers, We Care Hair, Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby, Aladdin's Castle, Musicland, A&G Cafeteria, JC Penny, TG&Y Little Bill 33 Flavors Ice Cream Shop, and even accommodated a local radio station studio at one point.
Northgate Mall, Lafayette's weekend hotspot
Hard to believe now, but people from every nearby community would pack into Northgate Mall on the weekends. It was new, exciting, and the place to be. How many of you remember seeing the ballons on a stick that kids used to get free at A&G Cafeteria, a local cafeteria chain that started off as a sandwich shop called "Pig Stand"? Or the name of the first album you bought from Musicland? Your first Orange Julius?
The Death of Malls
Malls are becoming a thing of the past. Online shopping, the surge of open-air shopping centers, and even the once-dominant Acadiana Mall now grapple with its own challenges.
Remembering Northgate Mall
For all of you who remember how exciting it was to jump in the car with your parents on Saturday morning for a day at Northgate Mall, this is for you!
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Gallery Credit: Chris Reed