Over the past few years, I have seen a big movement away from the conventional malls to more outdoor malls. In Costa Mesa, Ca we have a very unique mall called the Anti Mall or the LAB. This was the first outdoor mall to use an abandoned building and re-purposed it. The mall has amazing shops that are located inside of old air-streams and two metal buildings that use to be a google factory back in 1992.
The LAB Anti-mall is all about the experience. The creators of the mall wanted a one stop shop that you could go to hang out, dine, relax and grab a cute new outfit for the night. In the center of the mall there is a beautiful wooden swing that looks to be hanging from leaves. This is a perfect place for pictures or to wear out your kids for a few minutes. There are so many restaurants that you will have a hard time deciding on which to choose. The Cuban restaurant called Habana is to die for. Then you have to stop by Honey and Butter for the most scrumptious macaroons I have ever had!
On weekends they invite up and coming local artist to play as well. You can go sit down and enjoy ambiance of the LAB. This mall truly captures what it means to go green. I think the idea was to not destroy it just re-purpose it to be something better than it was. It’s amazing what a little paint and a big idea can do. If you are looking for inspiration then you should definitely make sure to give this mall a chance.