While I was broadcasting from Center Park inside Fox Valley Mall for their Christmas celebration, Scott Samson, the GM at the mall informed me of what was on the horizon. A bar inside the mall that will allow patrons to pour their own a cold beverages while they peruse the stores and experiences.
What a great flippin’ idea! Apparently Aurora alderpeople agreed, voting yesterday to allow it to operate inside Fox Valley Mall via a special liquor license. (Good thing too, since it’s already built!)
The self-serve craft beer idea is not new. There are a couple establishments who use the pay-per-ounce model using automated self serve taps. It’s not even the first time a self serve craft beer kiosk has been inside a shopping mall – they have one at the Fashion Outlets in Rosemont. Craft beer in the Chicago area is huge, so it’s no surprise there are many Tapville locations around here.
Here’s how it works. You check in with the hostess who checks your ID and takes your credit card. They give you a special card that is linked to your credit card that you use at the beer kiosks. You slide it into the slot of the beer you’d like, pull the handle to pour your beer and tracks how many ounces you just poured. You can do as little or as much of any combinations of beers up to 32 ounces, the maximum per person at this location.
I know, I know…but what about underage drinking?!!?!
Given the security measures that will be in place (wrist bands, security throughout the mall), I don’t see it as any bigger issue than at any other place that serves alcohol.
Besides, this is expensive craft beer we’re talking about here. People who will be dropping the money for it are extremely unlikely to just be giving it away to kids who can’t appreciate it. Trust me…in the unlikely event you see a 22 year old with a barrel aged stout hanging around with a bunch of teenagers, it’s gonna raise some red flags to the mall cops.
The Tapville Social Fox Valley will be in the old Francesca’s space right next to the brand new (and gorgeous) center park area of the mall. It will be the perfect place to grab a pint and enjoy some live music or get some shopping done.
I have to say I’m really impressed with the time, effort and money being put into the Fox Valley Mall to update it and make it relevant in today’s market. Did you see the Christmas set up they had?! Well done and I’m looking forward to visiting a lot more often!