North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, is delaying its plan to reopen the shopping centers doors to walk-in customers on Friday, June 5 after looters smashed their way into several stores on May 31.
In a press release on Monday, mall officials announced that the shopping center would now open sometime between June 10 and June 17.
“In light of the current uncertainty and unrest in local communities, North Riverside Park Mall announced today that the mall’s reopening has been postponed for the safety of its customers and tenants,” the press release stated.
When the shopping center does reopen, it will do so under protocols very similar to those that were in place until the mall closed in late March due to the governor’s stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the state moving into Phase 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan on May 29, mall officials are cautiously reopening by imposing shorter operating hours, limiting the number of customers allowed in stores at one time, prohibiting entertainment business – such as Round One and Classic Cinemas – from opening their doors and mandating takeout service only from the mall food court.
The mall stores will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6. Doors to the mall common area will open one hour before stores open.
Sears reopened on May 29 before it was forced to shut down May 31. It remained closed on Monday, June 1 as the entire mall property remained off limits to the public.
When it reopens again, according to the store’s page on Sears’ website, the North Riverside Sears will be open Friday through Monday. It will open when the rest of the mall opens on those days, but it will close each day at 6 p.m.
According to Harvey Ahitow, North Riverside Park Mall’s general manager, J.C. Penney is also planning to reopen its location there. Later this week, the company is expected to identify the 242 store locations it is permanently closing as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.
However, Ahitow said J.C. Penney is not planning to liquidate the North Riverside location in this wave of closures.
According to a statement posted on the mall’s website on May 28, anyone entering the shopping center – both customers and employees – will be required to wear face coverings.
Capacity inside each store will be limited to 50 percent or five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space. All tables and chairs will be removed from the food court at this time to enforce the ban on indoor dining at the mall.
Food court customers will, however, be allowed to order food at the food court counters or order it ahead for curbside service. Mall security will enforce social distancing.
In addition to seating in the food court, seating in other common areas in the mall will be removed at this time, and the lower-level children’s play area will be closed.
As the mall did before the stay-at-home order was enacted, there will be additional signage reminding shoppers of social distancing and health and safety guidelines, and the mall will bump up its efforts to keep surfaces, especially high-touch surfaces, sanitized.