Capitalism

Here Comes the Drunk Mall

Looking a little wobbly there, Desert Ridge Marketplace.
Looking a little wobbly there, Desert Ridge Marketplace. Rudri Bhatt Patel
Maybe because the brick-and-mortar retail industry sees Battlestar Bezos closing in and desperately needs a shot in the arm, or maybe because shoppers with lowered risk aversion and heightened impulsiveness spend more money, or maybe because malls are inherently depressing spaces and half-brained suburban parents who aren't into yoga could nonetheless gulp a piña colada as they consider divorce on a bench between Bath and Body Works and Hot Topic, or maybe because malls are inherently frustrating spaces and you want to knock back a cold one as you wait in line for half an hour to buy your in-laws a scented candle or SodaStream for Christmas, or maybe because teens are spending more time mocking boomers on TikTok than killing time under sterile hospitalesque lights and imported palm trees — their TikToks a form of protest against the tired and nonsensical boomer mantra repeated by the media that young people are destroying staples from older generations, including "breasturants," homeownership, and malls themselves — or maybe because mall owners saw the haunting photos of abandoned malls by Seph Lawless and turned to bartenders behind kiosks as their saviors, or maybe because those same mall owners dubiously imagined that booze would transform their soulless businesses into public gathering spaces, or maybe because mall developers paid lobbyists handsomely to convince Arizona lawmakers to pass a bill, signed by Governor Doug Ducey in April, allowing shopping centers larger than 400,000 square feet to serve spirits in plastic cups, starting today you can walk around Desert Ridge Marketplace with a drink in hand.
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Steven Hsieh was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from August 2018 to April 2020.
Contact: Steven Hsieh