Pleasant surprise at Knox City Shopping Centre

With the cold snap we are having in Melbourne it was only fitting that we should head for a mall if we wanted a walk.

For the usual reasons, I simply could not face Chadstone Mall again. It’s too much of a paradox for me. On one level it has delusions of grandeur with stores like Chanel and Tiffany’s and yet no decent place to have a bite.

If you are going to pretend to be grandiose, then why not have rest rooms that aren’t sopping wet? And why not provide paper hand towels instead of uncomfortable and ineffective hand dryers. Is Chadstone so hard up that it can’t afford them?

I have said in the past that the modern shopping mall replaces the ancient Greek Agora. It has become a social hub in which people meet, do some shopping and have a meal or go to the movies.

We have been in Melbourne now for almost two years and everyone I know tells me that Chadstone is horrible. Well, it’s not horrible, but it’s certainly uninviting.

We had discovered a mall in Doncaster which is great. Westfield know how to run a mall. They are far superior at building and operating malls than anyone else. Their business is customers and customers bring business. Simple as that.

The other day, however, we ventured forth and discovered Knox City. It’s an old shopping mall but has been maintained and renovated and expanded and it’s really pleasant. You can spend many hours exploring it and it has all the shops that Chadstone doesn’t have as well as the usual stores that one finds in malls today. It even includes the local library.

So well laid out, comfortable, with coffee shops everywhere and many food outlets. And what was most surprising, an entire outdoor area that reminded me of Pacific Fair and Harbour Town up in Queensland. The outdoor area was protected from the weather and the many restaurants were heated outside. This area is called the O-Zone and also houses the cinemas.

Unfortunately, we had no idea there was so much to Knox City so we had grabbed a bite to eat in the Food Hall which, by the way, was heaps better than Chadstone’s. There’s a choice of Greek food, Turkish food, Outback Aussie food, Thai food and even a Grill’d which is missing at Chadstone but present in Doncaster Mall.

I was so impressed that if I could afford it I would have bought the company. By the way, the company who owns it is AMP, the same company who runs Pacific Fair. I simply had to ask.

Last but not least the mall has plenty of parking which is a real bonus. It’s very frustrating looking for a parking spot at Chadstone. You may think that proves that Chadstone is popular but I’ve always maintained that people go there because it’s well situated rather than being a place you want to go to. It’s also the only one around the area.

Imagine what a boon it would be if the management at Chadstone actually cared about its customers!

Well, they didn’t care when I had my handbag stolen at a bead shop at Chadstone. I was left stranded. So if you go to Chadstone don’t expect any service. Just hold on to your handbag and bring a packed lunch in case you get hungry. And don’t forget the paper hand towels!

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