Journey Back in Time
Let’s step into the nostalgia-laden lanes of Fairfield, California, where a place has etched itself into the hearts of locals for over four decades. Yes, we’re talking about the Solano Town Center Mall, or as some may remember it, the Solano Mall.
Opened on March 19, 1981, this landmark shopping center was built around a free-standing J.C. Penney, one of the original anchor stores.
Other main tenants soon followed, including Emporium-Capwell, Mervyn’s, Macy’s, and Sears, forever transforming shopping habits for Solano County residents.
The Shifting Sands of Retail
Over the years, the Solano Town Center has seen stores come and go, each leaving its mark and memories on the local community. The Emporium, a first tenant, metamorphosed into Macy’s Clearance Center until its closure in 1997, followed by a new Sears in 1998.
Mervyn’s, another beloved store, shut its doors in 2008, later replaced by Forever 21 on the upper level and Sports Authority on the lower level. However, this also faced closure in 2020 and 2016, respectively. Sears, a stalwart of the mall, closed its location in 2018.
Yet, with each closure came a new beginning. The former Mervyn’s space was taken by Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2017, while a portion of the Sears space welcomed a Dave & Buster’s restaurant in 2021.
The Present – Embracing Change and Building Memories
The present-day Solano Town Center is a vibrant hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment, the largest indoor mall in Solano County.
The current anchors are Macy’s, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy, while the Edwards Cinema offers a cinematic experience above the Best Buy anchor. The recent addition, Dave & Buster’s, adds fun and food.
Despite the global shift towards online retail and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Solano Town Center has remained resilient. It has adapted to changing circumstances, reopening with services in line with current safety guidelines. In addition, several new leases were signed in 2021, signaling a solid revival.
Celebrating Milestones and Creating Memories
Solano Town Center celebrated its ruby anniversary, marking 40 years of creating memories for residents. A special concert was held featuring performances, games, and food trucks. This occasion reflected the mall’s ongoing role as a cornerstone of community life, creating experiences beyond shopping.
A Time of Change and Celebration: Unfolding Events at Solano Town Center
The Solano Town Center, a beloved hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment in Fairfield, California, has been a stage for vibrant events and significant changes in recent years.
From welcoming a carnival to heralding the arrival of new stores and eateries, the mall has been on a journey of transformation, promising a refreshed and enriching experience for the Fairfield community.
Reveling at the Fairfield Carnival
One of the highlights of 2022 was the Fairfield Carnival that took place at the Solano Town Center from April 7 to April 10. This festive event filled the mall’s premises with joy and laughter, with the Ferris wheel becoming a magnet for revelers, offering breathtaking views of the cityscape and creating cherished memories.
A Fresh Wave of New Stores and Eateries
Solano Town Center has been buzzing with activity as several new stores and restaurants debuted in 2022. Apex Jewelers, Boba Plus, Jollibee, and Sam’s Jewelers were among the fresh additions that opened in late summer or early fall.
Moreover, the mall saw the relocation of Juicy Fruits More and Bank of Hype within the center, and Tuttimelon and WiggleWorks Kids opened their doors in the spring.
Juicy Fruits and More, located in the Dining Court, is a Mexican Juice Bar offering a selection of smoothies, tostilocos, bionicos, juices, and other treats made from all-natural ingredients.
Bank of Hype, a new concept store where sneaker enthusiasts can buy, sell, and trade, relocated to the second level across from Hot Topic. The store boasts a collection of over 1,500 pairs of high-end, exclusive sneakers and other rare collectibles.
WiggleWorks Kids, located on the second level near JCPenney, offers a moving playscape and birthday party experience for children under 48 inches tall. The design aims to help children develop motor skills, coordination, and balance and increase strength, flexibility, and agility.
Tuttimelon, a self-serve, high-quality gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet store, joined the dining options at the center. With 14 gelato flavors, two sorbets, and eight yogurt flavors, Tuttimelon offers something for everyone, including dairy-free and sugar-free options.
Best Buy: An Exciting Transformation
In March 2023, it was announced that Fairfield’s Best Buy, one of the mall’s anchor stores, was getting an upgrade and was set to reopen as an outlet store later in the year.
This shift is part of a broader national growth strategy, with Fairfield’s location being one among ten new outlets fortifying the current count of 19 stores, with just a trio in California.
Through these events and transformations, Solano Town Center continues to evolve, adapting to the changing needs and preferences of the Fairfield community. As the center moves forward, it remains committed to providing a diverse, dynamic, and engaging shopping and entertainment experience for all who visit.
The Evolution of Solano Town Center
|Solano Town Center opened with J.C. Penney,
The Emporium and Sears as anchor stores
|Macy’s Clearance Center closed
|Sears relocated to the former Emporium space
|Forever 21 moved into the former Mervyn’s space (upper level)
|Sports Authority moved into the former Mervyn’s space (lower level)
|Sports Authority closed
|Dick’s Sporting Goods took the former Sports Authority space
|Forever 21 closed
|Dave & Buster’s opened in a portion of the former Sears space
|Best Buy’s upgrade to an outlet store is announced
The story of Solano Town Center is one of change and resilience, reflecting the broader shifts in retail and society over the past four decades.
From its humble beginnings in 1981 to the bustling hub of activity, the mall has remained a central part of life in Fairfield, CA. Here’s to the many more memories it will create in the future.
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