Since it was time for lunch, we made our first stop at the Cheesecake Factory which has become the new hangout site in the Valley. Adults as well as teens travel from the neighboring communities to meet there to talk and eat. The Cheesecake Factory is located in the new Fashion Fair Mall expansion which includes a number of high-end shops. So far, the Cheesecake Factory is way ahead of the league. We must quickly note that it has a formidable competitor in Sephora which features name-brand and designer cosmetics and fragrances that anybody can try. Sephora has soon created a huge following among teens and their parents who enjoy testing products before buying them. It has been a WOW idea that Macy's and Gottschalks did not have! Let's get back to the Cheesecake Factory. My friend and I already knew that to get the best seat, we had to beat the crowd who starts pounding on the front door and waiting around the fountain a good 1 hour before opening. Far too long, to experience the Cheesecake Factory atmosphere, one had to go to San Francisco, Los Angeles and other bigger cities. Now, the Cheesecake Factory is right with us at the Village, located at 630 E. Shaw Ave. no. 139, right in front of Fashion Fair. Once seated, we received the menu to think about our orders. From our experience in San Francisco, we already knew what we wanted. The Boston Salad for her and the Bistro Shrimp Pasta for me. Of course, there are other great offerings that will leave you asking for more. Well, once you experience the Cheesecake Factory, you will return for more of its specialties. If you do not want to spend more, you can go with the Factory Burger that will cost you $8.00. Of course, there is a huge selection of cheesecakes that will keep you on your toes. Would you like to go for a Pumpkin Pecan, Godiva Chocolate and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecakes?
With all the established stores that Fashion Fair has, the new stores give more reasons to shoppers to stroll up and down. Fashion Fair got innovative in the face of the new competition given by the Shops at River Park and Fig Garden Village. The management of the Mall has decided to lose some parking space and attract some name-brand and high-end shops. It tries to recreate the Bay Area feel with water fountains all around the entrance. Besides the Cheesecake Factory and Sephora, we found Lucky Brand Jeans which will open this year. French flea market-style store, Anthropologie, will be featured at the mall. Metropark is a retailer that sells clothing, music and art targeted to shoppers n their 20s and 30s. Marche! is also scheduled to be at the Mall. It sell Birkenstock, Teva, timberland and Ugg brand shoes. Eclipse Eyewear has the latest in eye fashion. It will also be a new fixture of the mall. So will be Bebe and Bebe Sport which will open this year. Who has not seen the women's clothing with the Bebe logo? Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will also be there. If you want your fine wine, you can get it from the restaurant. No more trip to Napa Valley!
Another restaurant that has received rave reviews so far is Claim Jumper. Gottschalks opened the G store. P.f. Chang's China Bistro is also there. If you want modern Chinese cuisine, you won't have to go to San Francisco's famed Chinatown any longer. In fact, Fresno is trying to revitalize its own Chinatown located near downtown. Villagio Shopping Center and The Shops at River Park exist side by side. They both are looking for stores such as Pottery Barn to have a presence in the Valley. Shoppers are asking Retail California to find these upscale shops for the River Park shopping center.