Food Is In Store For Ready-to-drop Shoppers At Oxford Valley Mall The Mall's New, Second-floor Food Court Is Home To Pick-me-ups Ranging From Pizza To Pretzels.

Posted: August 28, 1995

MIDDLETOWN — After the Oxford Valley Mall opened in 1973, a new trend arrived at many

malls - food courts.

Next month, the trend moves into the Middletown mall with the opening of the shopping center's first food court.

On Sept. 5, shoppers will be able to choose from 14 new restaurants in the center of the second floor. Besides the restaurants, two stores also are opening in the court. The restaurants are Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Baskin- Robbins, McDonald's, Deli-icious, Turkey & Salad Sensations, Original Philly Steak, Chao Cajun, Master Wok, Roli Boli, Chick-Fil-A, Pizza Zeppole, Crystal Cactus, Coffee Sensations, and Bananas. The stores are Oxford Valley News and Family Entertainment Center.

The food court will seat 650.

"The food court is a way to serve the community," said Debra Gilson, marketing director for the mall. Gilson said area businesses and the growth of the community had attracted new customers to the mall.

"Customers are asking for more food options," she said.

Construction began in April. Gilson declined to give the exact construction costs but said it was a multimillion-dollar project.

In addition, new restrooms will open in the same area. A family restroom will open with a section for changing diapers.

"This is definitely a '90s thing," Gilson said. "Adults with children of the opposite sex can bring the child into the family restroom. The family restroom is consumer-friendly and it even has seating for nursing a baby."

While construction workers were wrapping up their work last week, many curious shoppers stopped to watch the new food court come into being.

"I think a food court is a wonderful idea," said Michael Lapolla, 38, of Levittown. "I think they will get more customers who will probably stay in the mall longer."

"So far, I've been very impressed with it," said Robert McCartney, 25, of Levittown. "I think it will be a nice addition."

"I'll definitely use the food court," said Cindy Maxwell, 29, of Bensalem. "I think it's very pretty."

Workers also have ripped out the circular walkway on the first level and are installing a glass-enclosed elevator in its place. The elevator is expected to be ready for use when the food court opens.

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