Shop and awe

Malls, operators embrace fancy food courts as sales and traffic drivers

Imagine this: You’re settling down to a nice dinner al fresco next to a blazing fireplace. Live music is playing and you have a glass of wine in your hand. On one side, the sun is setting over the Pacific Ocean. On the other, the lights of the city skyline twinkle.

And you’re in a shopping mall food court.

This will describe the new rooftop Dining Deck at Santa Monica Place, a 30-year-old mall just blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., that is scheduled to

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