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Posted on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Changes at Briarwood: New retailers sign leases, 2 restaurants plan to relocate

By Lizzy Alfs

Ann Arbor’s Briarwood Mall is undergoing a series of changes as the holiday shopping season quickly approaches.


Briarwood Mall is experiencing a series of store openings and relocations.

Photo courtesy of Briarwood Mall

Two retailers signed leases recently to open in the mall, which is located at South State Street and East Eisenhower Parkway. Meanwhile, two food shops are planning to relocate from their current sites.

Among the changes:

  • International beauty product retailer L’Occitane plans to open in the mall’s center court on Dec. 1. The company operates more than 170 shops in the U.S. and carries body, face and home products, according to its website.

  • Local accessories retailer Franklin Vine opened a 751-square-foot store in the JC Penney wing of the mall. The store carries purses, scarves, shoes and jewelry.

  • Specialty cookie and brownie retailer Mrs. Fields plans to temporarily close its store on Oct. 14 and relocate to the mall’s center court by late November.

  • Carmelita’s Kitchen, the kiosk restaurant that specializes in smoothies, nachos and wraps, is expanding into a larger space in the Sears wing of the mall, with a grand reopening planned for mid-October.

There also are talks of Tricho Salon & Spa combining its two Briarwood studios — one is located inside the mall and the other is attached with an exterior entrance — but Denise Murray, Briarwood’s director of marketing and business development, said nothing is finalized yet.

Other previously reported changes at Briarwood include the planned opening of fast casual Asian restaurant Panda Express by mid-November, the opening of Brighton Collectibles on Dec. 1, the opening of Sisters Arts and Gifts and Build-A-Bear’s closure.

Briarwood Mall, anchored by Macy’s, JC Penney, Von Maur and Sears, is about 1 million square feet. It's owned by Simon Property Group.

Job postings and hiring events are listed on Briarwood Mall’s website and at the Guest Services desk in the mall’s center court.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

some come,some go.that's the way it works.


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

War of the cookie. Ms Fields vs Great American Cookie. Wow. This is going to be a real food court and there is still no place to sit. How sad. I don't do Briarwood simply put? I can't afford it. Too pricey. Use to be a nice place to shop. Too bad it is too high.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

When can we have the Arby's back in the mall? There is not a single Arby's in all of Ann Arbor (the one on washtenaw closed too) I know towns 1/10th the size of Ann Arbor that are hours from the nearest interstate highway that have an Arby's!


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

there is an Arby's on jackson ave just west of Zeeb and a walk in one on baker road


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

The only Arby's right now is in Milan, off Washtenaw near Ypsilanti and off Zeeb. I hate to say it, I don't think Briarwood thinks Arbys is high class. I too miss Arby's by Penney's. Nice little restaurant.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

I never go to the mall, there is nothing there that interests me. I really hope the bargain movie theater comes back, that was the only reason I went to the mall. Summerset and the other mall between Briarwood and Summerset (what is that called?!?! it is about 45 minutes away) are way better


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Bring back the dollar theater. If you do that, people will eat at the mall establishments and shop there more frequently.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

I like to hang out there and look for chicks.


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

I hear Victoria is looking.

music to my ear

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

be careful


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

As long as Olga's and MC Sports are still there, I'll be going there.

Ann English

Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

I followed MC Sports from Oak Valley Center to Briarwood. I like their padded mittens (mittens are warmer than gloves) and Speedo swimcaps, even with the change in material used.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

In being positive, I like the new stores that are coming to Briarwood, and I appreciate the shifting around of a few stores to more appropriate locations. What Briarwood needs is just a few more nationally known retailers to really bring in the traffic to the area. Simon Malls has neglected the parking lots there to make it an embarrassment. Unless you park on the Macy's side. Although I enjoy going to Somerset when I'm on that side of the area visiting family, I can find what I need at Briarwood for the most part. And based on the crowded parking lots on non-football Saturdays, it appears that a lot of local people frequent Briarwood.

Linda Peck

Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

Commerce is an entity that is goes where it makes money. If money is being made at Briarwood, it will stay; if there is no money, it will go. Personally, I am not affected either way, but obviously people do shop there and it does make money. What is the problem with that? Besides, it is a good place for people to exercise in bad weather.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

Need a new suit? A wedding dress? Want to celebrate an important occasion at a world class restaurant? Go to Briarwood in Ann Arbor? Forgetaboutit!!!Why is it that we, an educated, sophisticated, urbane population, citizens of the sixth largest city in Michigan, with a median income of over $46,000 and fifty thousand employed people, from a town that has world class institutions (UM, EMU, UMS), and highly ranked hospitals, who can host an esteemed ginormous art fair, from a town that otherwise has great local theaters, churches, community organizations, people… Why do we settle? Why do we settle for the low-end chain stores and mediocre chain restaurants at our malls and in our city? I suggest a boycott of Briarwood until the Simon Property Group gives us some respect. Why send all the good money to Somerset? And who really wants to drive all that way? Do we really deserve only lavender sachets and chocolate chip cookies? Actually, that goes for most of Ann Arbor restaurants. Mediocre, at best! Wake up! The emperor has no clothes. "…a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" We are getting what we deserve— if we just keep accepting it. Oh, well. Bring back the movies, and maybe I'll come back and slum a little.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

I have to question how often you come to Ann Arbor because Ann Arbor has plenty of good restaurants.

4 Fingers

Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

Agreed the mall sucks. What you fail to realize Elizabeth is Ann arborites have never had fashion sense. And I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Even when Hudson's and jakes were still around they only had half the inventory of their other stores. Ann Arbor just doesn't dress up. For anything.

John of Saline

Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Somerset is in a county with a LOT more people around.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

2 restaurants...does Mrs. Fields constitute a restaurant?


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.

No. More like fast food fat. Ms Fields does not promote healthy eating. Nor does half the restaurants in Briarwood.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Happy to hear I still have no reason what-so-ever to set foot in Briarhole. I'll gladly help tear it down when the time comes, though.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

They need to do something about the horror of their parking lot. It is a pitted nightmare with markings so faint that people park any which way, narrowing the lanes into nothingness. It is a disgrace and I have taken to ordering clothes online from Land's End, Eddie Bauer, and the Gap rather than driving over there, even though I hate waiting for packages to arrive. I HATE THAT PARKING LOT MORE!


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

Besides the parking lot, the lack of handicap parking, the circle drive around the Mall itself is HORRIFIC -- the curbs/gutters are pothole filled craters bound to jar you into next week should you hit one, and are so filled with broken concrete and stones that it's awful. They clearly haven't benefitted from Ann Arbor's road cleaning equipment in decades! These parking lots and service drives need to be swept/vacuumed clean with road cleaning equipment!!!!!


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Agree on Amazon Prime. Tons of free streaming videos an added bonus.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

That parking lot alone raises temperatures citywide by at least two degrees. It shuld be hammered out and returned to nature. Along with the mall itself.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Get Amazon Prime. $79 a year and 2-day shipping.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

The slide continues. I'm just waiting for some version of the Tokyo Health Spa to open there.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Until there's talk of bringing back the bargain movie theater, the antics of Briarwood doesn't interest me in the least. :(


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

Briarwood was such fun the first 10 or so years it opened. Then all the fun places closed and the more expensive no fun stores popped up. I agree Rob. No reason to frequent this place.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

I wish I could upvote this 20 times! I've been going to that theater since Rocky Horror in high school, and I used to take my daughter there a few times a month. We'd inevitably spend more money somewhere in the mall. Closing that theater was the worst move the powers that be in Briarwood ever made. I even loved the Madstone! I was lucky enough to know the manager, and got a personal screening of Suspiria there.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

That was just about the only reason my family ever went to Briarwood. Once the theater closed, we stopped going altogether. Maybe once a year we'll hit Penney's for some discounted winter coats for the kids but that's it. It is wonderful for those who like to walk a lot indoors during the winter but that's not the primary purpose of a mall.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Could not agree more! Man I miss that place. Briarwood has just kinda gone down hill for me since then. Only a handful of places I even visit in there anymore.


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Exactly! Still no reason for me to go to Briarwood.