Tyrone Square turns 40, PDQ opens in St. Petersburg, DSW moves into Borders building

Tyrone Square Mall opened in October 1972 as the next big thing. Shoppers marveled at the modern decor with mirrored lights, marble floors and walls decorated in chartreuse and purple. Imagine, a movie theater with six screens!

Even the lieutenant governor at the time, Tom Adams, attended the ribbon cutting, proclaiming the mall a model of intelligent design and one of the reasons why "Florida is prospering like never before.'' Tyrone Square was the place to be.

Forty years later, Tyrone may not have the glitz of International Plaza or newness of the Shops at Wiregrass, but it's still a good mall to shop for reasons not limited to Macy's, Old Navy and H&M. It's not the area's oldest mall — WestShore Plaza opened in 1967 — but many shoppers would agree it has aged well.

On Saturday, the mall at 66th Street N and 22nd Avenue N in St. Petersburg invites shoppers to celebrate like it's 1972 at a party marking its anniversary. The event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m., will have a '70s cover band, DJ, dancers and a fashion show.

Patrons who like the mall's Facebook page or register their email at Center Court will get a wristband good for store discounts and free food and drink samplings. The first 250 people will receive swag bags with coupons and other goodies.

Of course, anyone who shows up in '70s garb will get a lot of attention, especially if they take part in the mall trivia contest. Forty years in retail is worth celebrating.

Blinds To Go is shutting its blinds permanently in the Southeast. Its last store in the state — and entire region — closes Oct. 19 at 11305 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon. Its Tampa store on S Dale Mabry Highway closed Sept. 29.

The chain, which has corporate offices in Paramus, N.J., and Montreal, sought to move into Florida and expand into other Southeast states but lost momentum when the real estate market crashed.

PDQ is expanding pretty darn quick. Its fourth Tampa Bay area restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Sunday at 4526 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. The grand opening event will include appearances from local magician and balloon artist Mike Jones and radio personality Todd "MJ'' Schnitt.

The fast-casual chicken concept debuted last October in South Tampa and quickly added locations in Wesley Chapel in June and Carrollwood in August. The limited-by-design menu centers on chicken tenders, sandwiches and salads, french fries and hand-spun shakes. The 100-flavor Coca-Cola soda machine is pretty cool, too, and seems to be popping up in casual and fast-food restaurants all over town.

While I'm still not happy about Borders closing, I find some consolation in this bit of news: DSW opens Thursday in the former Borders store at Tyrone Square Mall. I much prefer a shoe store over some of the other uses of shuttered Borders stores, including the Florida Orthopaedic Institute in the former South Tampa Borders and Florida Medical Services coming to the north Tampa site. No offense to those places, which I'm sure provide great services, but they aren't exciting retail destinations.

Now, if only I could own as many pairs of shoes as I do books.

Susan Thurston can be reached at sthurston@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3110.

Tyrone Square turns 40, PDQ opens in St. Petersburg, DSW moves into Borders building 10/08/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 6:26pm]

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