At least not on a random Tuesday morning, it's not.
John and I have been big fans of the Rosemont Muvico theater since it opened. He and one of his buddies are even the Cliff and Norm of the Muvico bar, which is a pretty big honor. But once the MB Financial Park started rolling, shit started getting really annoying in Rosemont. There were suddenly more cars, more people (specifically people who only landed on this planet thirty minutes ago with the express purpose of making you late for Man of Steel), and more Toby Keith cuisine fans (I do not lump these beings in with "people").
If you're unfamiliar with the area, imagine if the United Center, Soldier Field, and McCormick Place had been built right next to the Water Tower mall on Michigan Avenue. And then add a Hofbrauhaus. This (at least numbers-wise) is essentially what Rosemont is trying to cram onto three or four city blocks.
Now, the place looks good. When you can manage to get off the street and out of the parking structure, MB Financial Park is kind of a nice place to be. There are some decent restaurants and a good deal of space. And most of the drivers are finally figuring out how a parking lot works. We were on the road to things getting back to normal.
But then this whole Fashion Outlets of Chicago thing was announced. When I saw the building going up, right there next to the Park, I groaned. Inwardly, and to anyone who would listen. However, as a person who always likes to be well-informed about the things that bug her, I decided to give the new outlet mall a go. At 10 AM on a random Tuesday in 95 degree heat after school was back in session. I'm no fool.
First of all, the mall has its own parking lot, so don't worry about trying to fight with bargain shoppers when all you want to do is see the One Direction movie. Secondly, the entrance to the mall (on River Road) is several streets past Balmoral and past the convention center. It's actually in the same little area as the Akoo Theater, so unless there's a matinee of Elmo's World or Kevin Hart comedy, there probably won't be too much traffic overlap. Thirdly, the parking garage is free for two hours AND it has one of those handy "This is how many parking spots are available on each floor" signs. This didn't keep several people from lining up to nab my spot on Level 2 as I was leaving, but you can't change people. At least not in a day.
Pro-Tip: Park on either Level 1 or Level 3. Both have direct access to the mall. No stairs or waiting for an elevator.
As far as the stores go, there's a lot of good stuff here. There are many, many high end shops -- from Prada to Tory Burch to Gucci. There are also some places for us peons who just want to get some jeans on the cheap or sweaters in patterns so ugly they didn't sell the first time around. For us, there's Gap and Banana Republic and J. Crew. There are a lot of kids stores and shoe stores. And there's a Lindt chocolate store. I may have bought truffles.
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Filed under: News & Views