Restoration Hardware vacated their large space at the bottom of the escalator last year – and in its place is now a spacious culinary retailer, Sur La Table. All I can say is, look out Williams Sonoma. The store has everything you need for the kitchen – plus hundreds of gadgets and cooking utensils that you didn’t know you needed. In addition to all cookware and hardware, the store sells food – salsas, spices, oils and more.
What I found most impressive was their massive test kitchen that they are using to host a full schedule of cooking classes. The schedule this week includes a tapas party on Friday night, Halloween baking and Italian gnocchi on Saturday and the quintessential croissant on Sunday. There is a fee for the classes and the kitchen can also be used for private parties. Check out the class schedule here:
Moving from cookware to software, I found that Apple now has some competition at the mall. The Microsoft store in the Westchester is one of just 32 retail stores opening around the country. The store features a selection of Windows PCs, phones, and tablets as well as the Xbox and third-party apps and hardware. The opening is timely as Microsoft just released the Windows 8 operating systems (which many are reporting is difficult to navigate) as well as a new Surface RT tablet to rival the iPad. Whether or not either of these new releases will pose a real challenge to Apple is yet to be seen – but visit this lively new store and let us know what you think.
Last – you don’t usually go to the mall to buy a car, but now the Westchester has added its first auto dealer to the mix. Electric carmaker Tesla is now displaying their models in a location on the ground floor near the entrance to Nordstrom. The sleekly designed cars run on rechargeable batteries and range in price from $57,000 to $98,0000. The battery on the lower priced model will last for 160 miles while the larger battery can go 300 miles. Made in one plant in Fremont, CA there is a serious waiting list for the cars. The dealer reports that these eco-friendly cars are now in big demand, with 13,000 people on the waiting list. But don’t let that stop you from driving one. The dealer in the Westchester stocks demos in the mall’s parking lot and you can stop by and try one.