I'm really happy Livermore is boosting its economy with the new Paragon outlet mall, but after two trips there I've decided it is not for me.
I just cannot shop in peace knowing that I face a 30-minute wait for a restroom. I heard the police had to be called in to remove some women from the men's room. Well who could blame them for resorting to desperate measures given the long lines.
Add to that the horrendous traffic on I-580 leading up to the ill-designed entrance (for the majority of vehicles, there's only one way in and out of this place) and navigating the muddy gravel parking lot, and it becomes even less appealing.
The food situation isn't great, either. The food court is too small for a place that's drawing thousands of people a day, so there are lines there, and if you're lucky to get something to eat, you'll have to fight for a spot to sit down.
Beyond that there's just a popcorn stand, a really cramped overpriced yogurt shop ($10 for a small yogurt and a water) and the same-old tiresome Starbucks.
I was disappointed that there aren't any stand-alone sit-down restaurants on the site, which would provide something of a shoppers' refuge, especially given that the mall is difficult to get to and not close to anything beyond B.J.s across the freeway.
I guess lines are to be expected at a place like this, but it was funny to see people waiting in lines to get into the high-end stores, roped off like a night club. Are the deals really that great?
It wasn't surprising to see the quintessential melting down children. Poor things. No kid likes to shop. But I was shocked to see so many dogs there.
Yes, dogs! People are bringing their dogs to the outlet mall. Yes, this is absolutely ridiculous. I watched one urinate on a trash receptacle and another go crazy barking at a child and decided it was time to go.
And I won't be back.
What grade would you give the new outlet mall shopping experience? Tell us in the comments.