It's no secret that Weyburn's City Centre Mall hasn't been all that busy since they lost the Co-Op Home Centre.
In January of this year, a new Giant Tiger location opened, taking up the space previously used by the Co-op Home Centre and Smitty's.
Then in April, a new restaurant named Comfort Cafe opened in the mall as well. They have already become quite well known in the community and people are giving them high ratings online. They used to operate out of a food truck in the mall parking lot before deciding to move their shop directly into the mall.
"It was like being in the circus," said Dave Katschke, Owner of Comfort Cafe. "You go to your location, you set up, you get ready, you serve your food. Then at the end of every night you gotta pack everything up, move again, and go back home. It's much easier being in the mall because we're in one place. We have perfect conditions here. We designed the place and setup the kitchen ourselves. Everything is exactly the way that we want it. Being in the mall, we're kind of a nice tight little community. I wish more people would move their businesses into the mall, because we support each other and rent here is super cheap. We all work together to help each other. It's kind of like a little incubator in the middle of Weyburn."
Having Giant Tiger in the mall is great for all the other businesses, as it draws in more traffic and the employees of Giant Tiger visit the shops in the mall as well. Now there is starting to be a revitalization within the mall.
"I personally love being in the mall," said Carissa Thomson, one of the Owners and Stylists at Studio Seven. "Our location is great and the parking is great. So we do see quite a few walk-ins for that reason, so that's nice."
The current uptick in the economy paired with the new stores in the mall are sure to help the mall see a second life.
"Giant Tiger has given a new life to the building," said Manjit Bahia, Director of the City Centre Mall. "That end of the building was almost dead since Co-op left, but Giant Tiger is an anchor tenant for us now. A lot of traffic is coming into the mall, and the new businesses are looking into leasing with us."
The mall's current major tenants are Giant Tiger, Bank of Montreal, CAA Travel, Studio 7, Comfort Cafe, Maurer's Meats, Service Canada and the Sask Liquor Store. It is also the site of a weekly Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
It is exciting to think about where the mall will be in a year or two. When the mall makes a full comeback it will really help out Weyburn and the surrounding communities.