On Thursday, we went the the grand opening of Valencia’s newest shopping center, Mercado Fuencarral. The word “grand”, though, might be overstating things a bit… The new mall was, indeed, open but many of its shops were not. There were very few people wandering around floors still grimy with construction dust. The same techno-lite song played on a loop, providing an appropriate soundtrack to a very desolate atmosphere.
The mall’s focus seems to be on specialty, off-brand clothing of the sort you’d be likely to find in El Carmen, although there are also some big names like Adidas and Puma. There are a couple small furniture and home stores… Vainilla y Chocolate made a great impression on us. Overall, the shops that were open were interesting, and one could definitely have fun browsing.
All of the promotional materials and press releases for Mercado Fuencarral put a big emphasis on how “hip” it would be. What a cool place to chill with friends! What an eclectic shopping experience! And, yes, there were funky-looking sofas spread throughout the premises, but the only ones using them were stressed out mothers with multiple brats, and tired old people. Probably not the young, hip market that’s being targeted. The Sofa Club looked promising, but again: what kind of cool, “in-the-know” youngsters go clubbing at the mall? I’m skeptical.
Anyway, Juergen and I will be frequent guests of Mercado Fuencarral because of one attraction — the UGC Cine Cite theaters. Cheap tickets, huge screens, a wide selection of films, including some in original versions. It’s the true highlight!