People walk through Everett Mall wearing masks while shopping on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People walk through Everett Mall wearing masks while shopping on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Head to the mall for ‘normal-ish’ good time — and Baby Yoda fix

Stores are open at Everett and Alderwood malls and the outlets in Tulalip. But new rules apply.

EVERETT — The intoxicating food court aroma and shrill of teen laughter is back at the malls.

So, too, are toddlers and seniors.

But those zippy strollers with steering wheels and cupholders are no longer for rent at Alderwood mall, and the walker program at Everett Mall is paused until at least Phase 3. We’re only in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to return to normal.

Both malls reopened last week, but a number of merchants initially stayed closed. Macy’s, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney at Alderwood opened this week, as did Burlington in Everett. Seattle Premium Outlets in the Quil Ceda Village in Tulalip also is open.

The malls closed in March due to the statewide stay-home order to control the COVID-19 outbreak. Phase 2 allows retail stores and malls to operate at up to 30% capacity and restaurants at 50%.

Draven Fenstra, 13, was at Everett Mall on Wednesday after several months of “sitting around.”

He and his cousin made the rounds — to the comic shop, fro-yo stand and arcade — just “having fun and wasting money.”

“It’s normal-ish,” Draven said.

After the mall, he planned to go home and sit some more.

People wait in line at the Burlington store at Everett Mall on Friday. It was the first day the store was open since temporarily closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People wait in line at the Burlington store at Everett Mall on Friday. It was the first day the store was open since temporarily closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The malls have hand-sanitizer stations and social distancing markers. Signs advise anyone who feels ill to stay home. Mall patrons are not required to wear masks. At least one-fourth of the shoppers at Alderwood and Everett malls were not wearing face coverings when both sites were visited mid-week.

“Masks are highly encouraged,” Alderwood mall manager Jerry Irwin said.

Disposable masks are available at no cost from Alderwood security officers or at the security office. Some individual stores require masks, which all workers must wear.

“Well over half of the stores are open,” Irwin said. “Things are going well. We are seeing a good amount of traffic.”

Many restaurants in the mall’s food court are open. Half of the 700 tables were removed. Tables, chairs and high chairs are cleaned after every use.

Thrill-seekers have to wait to bungee jump until the harness is sanitized before they get to bounce five minutes for $11 at the atrium attraction. Same with those renting motorized riding animals.

At Everett Mall, most stores are open, said manager Ray Chavez.

“It has exceeded my expectations,” Chavez said. “A large number of our tenants are local and small operators that come from the community itself, not chains.”

For merchants, the reopening is like Christmas in June.

A table with hand sanitizer at Phantom Zone Comics at Everett Mall. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A table with hand sanitizer at Phantom Zone Comics at Everett Mall. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

“Customers are excited to come to the mall,” said Mirza Bahadur, manager of the T-Mobile Metro kiosk at Everett Mall. “They are excited to spend money on new phones and upgrades.”

The Jedi juvenile known as Baby Yoda was the star at Phantom Zone Comics at Everett Mall.

The 3.75-inch bobblehead Funko Pop figure from “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” sells for $10.99 and was flying off the shelves. The 10-inch super-sized Pop for $39.99 sold out.

Before shoppers could get their hands on Baby Yoda or the extensive selection of comics, shirts, action figures and other items, they had to sanitize their hands. A table with a dispenser was by the door.

During the closure, the shop sold items online. Graphic novels were top sellers.

“I did more business since I opened than in all the shutdown,” store owner Joel Bowyer said. “People are wanting to get out. They are jonesing for their figures and Pops now.”

People line up outside the Burlington store at Everett Mall on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People line up outside the Burlington store at Everett Mall on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Before you head to the mall, check the hours.

Everett Mall is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

At Seattle Premium Outlets and Alderwood mall, hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Sarah Calvo pours icing on to a cinnamon roll at the Maltby Cafe while Kylie King checks take out orders on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Maltby, Washington. A GoFundMe fundraising page continues to grow, raising more than $80,000 from 1,200 people in just a few days. Owners Tana Baumler and Sandra Albright thought they were going to closed before the website donations made them pause their decision. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Miracle in Maltby: Community support saves small-town cafe

Owners of the Maltby Cafe feared closure, but a wave of business and donations has thwarted the end.

More deadlines loom for local small-business grant programs

Those in Everett and Stanwood must apply by Monday. Monroe and other cities are giving more time.

The Colors of Hawaii gift store Saturday afternoon in Everett November 21, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
If you can’t go, a new Everett shop sells Hawaiian sunshine

The Colors of Hawaii gift store has relocated to Broadway. Yes, of course, they sell grass skirts.

Amethyst Skeels and Alexander Walsh pick out cannabis products at Kushman's Everett Cannabis Dispensary on Evergreen Way on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cannabis sales surge, proving pot is pandemic-proof

There are more customers, and some regulars are stocking up — just in case there’s a shortage.

Claire Vondemkamp (left) and Jami Sollid check out customers Saturday afternoon at Just James Boutique in Stanwood on November 28, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Crazy or just brave? These folks opened businesses this year

In spite of the pandemic, the number of new businesses is up sharply compared to last year.

Sofia Drogomiretskiy sets up an example of what she would photograph for a Decorent Instagram photo on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 in Bothell, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
They rent you a merry Christmas — the tree trimmings, that is

Tired of storing holiday decorations, a Bothell couple launched a company that rents tree ornaments.

Boeing lands crucial Max deal from Ryanair as grounding ends

The Dublin-based carrier will add to an existing Max purchase by taking 75 more 737-8s.

Shop local without leaving your home: Merchants go online

It’s more important than ever to support area businesses, and it’s now easier to find them on the web.

Pilots Peter Gamble, left, and John Konstanzer talk with journalists and crew members after flying a Boeing 737 Max from Dallas and arriving at the American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.. Earlier the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to the American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)
Waiting for passengers, American puts Boeing Max in the air

American Airlines is likely to be the first carrier to put passengers on Max jets, beginning Dec. 29.

A Boeing 737-8AS aircraft, operated by Ryanair, taxis passed an EasyJet passenger jet at Schoenefeld airport in Berlin on March 13, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Krisztian Bocsi.
Boeing nears Max deal with Ryanair in win for embattled jet

The order would help repnlenish a backlog that’s been depleted since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

A passenger aircraft at Ciudad Real International Airport in Ciudad Real, Spain, on Oct. 27, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Paul Hanna.
Airlines face ‘mission of the century’ in shipping vaccines

Cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bikes and even donkeys may be needed to get the drug to rural areas.

Anastasia Allison poses with samples of her Kula Cloth, a pee cloth for women to use outdoors, near her home on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Arlington, Washington. Allison's invention has caught the eye of outdoor retail giant REI and will being selling them in stores soon. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Kula Cloth tries to wipe away the mountains of toilet paper

An Arlington woman’s “spiritual awakening via pee cloth” led to a popular product for outdoorsy women.