Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bon Air Center

It's a rainy weekend in Marin and the malls are empty: shoppers are all at home or on the slopes at Tahoe. So this is a good opportunity for me to share a few photos of Bon Air Center in Greenbrae.
Bon Air is located on Sir Francis Drake Blvd, just to the west of Highway 101. It's a high profile location that is just about in the center of Marin, with great access from nearby Greenbrae, Kentfield and Larkspur. It's also on the main drag to the freeway for residents of Ross and San Anselmo.
The center is a simple strip facing a car park with a few pad sites. There are approx 50 stores, with the major store being Mollie Stones market, which occupies the mid point of the retail mall. Longs Drugs and quirky emporioum David M. Bryan anchor each end.
The popularity of the center is evident in the absence of vacant spaces: I didn't count a single empty store when I was there last week. Instead, there's a mix of old and new retailers, with plenty of independent boutiques, gift and art stores. There is also a decent selection of casual eating places, including the in-your-face Wipeout Bar & Grill, the more classy Cafe Z Epicerie and the traditional Fifi's Diner.
If you haven't been to the center it is definitely worth a visit just for the fun of discovering some unique examples of the kind of store that isn't supposed to survive in the modern retailing world. Take a look at the Secret Garden, the go-to place for bridesmaids dresses, or Stichbirds Needlepoint store. And for toys, Solaria's Toy World is the real deal.

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