Menlo Park Mall is situated less than 20 minutes’ drive fr om New York City, on US-1, close to the I287, Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. The mall has two levels and tenants include, Nordstrom, The Cheesecake Factory, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, AMC Dine-In Theater, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Champs Bar & Restaurant, IciUmi Seafood & Sushi Buffet, along with a host of specialty foods in the food court.
There is a parking at no cost which allows shoppers to enjoy a full day of shopping and good eats at the mall.
The mall was opened as an open-air shopping complex during September 1959. The name was derived from the area in Edison, Menlo Park. This is the site wh ere Thomas Edison’s famous laboratory was located and the exact site is about two miles (3 km) from the mall. Between June 1966 and December 1967, the structure was enclosed completely. After this remodeling period, the name was change to Menlo Park Mall.
The anchors in the original mall were Pantry Pride which later became Big Buy, ShopRite which later became Pathmark, Woolworths, JC Penney, Montgomery Ward which was opened during May 1960 and Bamberger’s.
The mall was originally a single level structure and once enclosed after 1967, it consisted of shaded windows along one side of the ceiling only and no skylights. The lighting inside was low which made the interior of the mall dark, however, this was quite normal for malls at the time. It had a unique flooring design, with patterns of white, yellow, black and orange throughout the interior.
The structure underwent huge expansion and renovation during 1990 and 1991 and was converted from a single-storey building to its current two-storey construction. During this time the mall was closed. The vertex of the new building was at the center court to allow the new structure to fit into the available space. Included in the new building were galleria style skylights, marble flooring, sculptures, dramatic lighting, domed fountain courts, along with a food court with skylights.
Two parking levels were added, as well as a 12-screen Cineplex Odeon movie theater to replace the small Menlo Park Cinema which was situated on Route 1. This was replaced later by Romano’s Macaroni Grill and then by the AMC ‘Dine-In’ Theater. During the first expansion, Macy’s was the only store which continued to operate.
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