Bigger isn’t better.
The first shopping center to challenge the post-WWII downtown shopping area was Lloyd Center Mall. For many years, it helped suck the life from downtown Portland shops as people moved further away from the urban area. However, the glory years of “Oregon’s Largest Mall” are over. People are staying in sucky suburban towns for their post-Gulf War shopping arenas.
Take a stroll down Lloyd Center’s halls, and you will find abandon stores and empty Dell/Sprint kiosks. Walking to Nordstrom’s within the “belly of the beast” feels like a stroll through an urban ghost town. The stores that remain are a rag-tag bunch of mediocre crap (Who shops at DEB?). Lloyd Center is anchored by, not one, but TWO discount-bin chains (Marshall’s and Ross). The LC is also home to the lamest, smallest Nordstrom’s on the west coast. Although, their Sears isn’t bad.
As far as food court options go, the LC is particularly weak*. Billy Heartbeats, while slightly tasty, is run by a bunch of incompetent managers and snot-nosed servers. In fact, I would say that food court restaurant is WORSE than McMenamins’ service only because you can’t enjoy a frothy alcoholic beverage. If you venture outside Lloyd Center Mall’s glass paned doors you’ll run into Red Robin and Stanford’s. As a professional dietician, I recommend cigarette butts over those two dining experiences.
Has Lloyd Center Mall been hurt by the reemergence of the Pearl and suburban shopping arenas? Undoubtedly. But don’t feel sorry for Lloyd Center Mall… just avoid it. UNLESS you really need to satisfy your ice skating fix. Then go pick up your white trash outfit at Forever 21 and hit the ice! You can be just like Tonya Harding for a day.
*Taco Time isn’t technically fine dining… but it’s pretty close