If you’ve ever taken a stroll through Suburban Square — which if you’re reading this, you probably have! — you know that there’s no blueprint for our visitors. One of the things we love the most about our little community is the rich diversity of shoppers, diners, joggers, and loungers we get to see and learn about every day.
We recently ventured out with a camera and open ears to stop and chat with the Suburbans of the Square that we encountered along the way. Here are some of the wonderful folks we encountered and what we learned about them.
Shannon and Kimmy
“I come here from the city,” says Shannon with a smile. “I have all of this shopping in Philly, but I still like to come here instead.”
She and her friend Kimmy are two Suburbans of the Square who we found admiring our tree the other day, which sparkles right outside Lola’s Garden, one of their favorite spots for a girls’ night. They first checked out the restaurant when they were looking for a meetup spot that was an equal distance between them, and they’ve been coming back ever since.
“One time we asked a bartender there if they have espresso martinis,” Kimmy remembers. “He said, ‘I make THE best espresso martini!’ So ever since then we’ve been coming here to get those.”
Cheers to cozy drinks, catching up with friends, and a fun and festive holiday season!
“I used to live in Suburban Square, actually. I was here when this was Strawbridge’s,” says Has, pointing up at the building that is now home to LifeTime Fitness.
Has, who still lives in Ardmore, has been around to see tons of changes at Suburban Square, and he’s remained a loyal visitor through the years — so much that he even took the time to follow us on Instagram while we chatted!
But there’s one particular feature of the Square that has caught his eye this holiday season. “This, by the way, is a beautiful tree,” he exclaims, beaming up at the tree with a big smile. “Tell whoever put this tree up that they did an amazing job.”
Will do, Has!
“This is a city outside of the city!” Helen (right) says, gesturing around the Suburban Square courtyard.
Helen, who lives nearby in Bryn Mawr and has been watching the Square evolve over the years, is clearly a passionate advocate for outdoor public spaces like the Square.
“City planning needs to be more like this so we have places to go and a better quality of life,” she continues. “It’s so much easier and more enjoyable to walk around with more space in a place like this.”
She’s a fan of the new stores and restaurants around the Square, and she’s certainly optimistic about the future. “I think it will just get better and better,” she adds with a smile.
“Suburban Square was the first outdoor shopping mall in America,” Nan says proudly. “I grew up here. This is my home. I went to Lower Merion High School and everything.”
We asked Nan what she remembers about Suburban Square over the years. “Oh, I remember when that was Strawbridge’s,” she says, pointing at the building. “And Macy’s after that, but Strawbridge’s was first.”
She’s an avid Ann Taylor fan, and from the looks of her cozy earmuffs and stylish western-inspired boots, we have no doubt that this fashionista is a spectacular holiday shopper.
Paige and Lauren
“We’re best friends,” says Paige (right). “And we’re both Villanova students, so we come here whenever we have free time.”
For these busy students, it’s all about getting in some fun and quality time before the semester ends (and finals begin). Soon, they’ll both be heading back to Long Island to spend the holidays with their families before returning to Villanova in the spring.
“Our friend works at Free People, so we like to come visit her and do some shopping,” Paige says. “And have brunch!” adds Lauren with a smile. They’re big fans of the new cuisine at Lola’s Garden, but they like the classics, too — specifically Not Your Average Joe’s.
Good luck on your finals, Paige and Lauren — we’re rooting for you!
“You know, I don’t come here as often as I’d like to,” says James. “I live nearby, so I want to come more — I always enjoy it here, and I really like the restaurants.”
We caught up with James on his way to meet a friend for lunch at Cava. “I didn’t realize there was a Cava here, but now that I know that, I’ll be coming even more.” Bon appétit, James!
It’s all in the family for these Suburbans of the Square.
“Our dad works at the Apple store,” Lisa (left) says proudly. “We like to get Shake Shack and walk around when we come here to visit him.”
Saying hi to Dad and making a lunch and shopping trip out of it? Sounds like the perfect sisters’ day out.
This is only the beginning of what we hope will be a long trend of taking the time to get to know even more Suburbans of the Square.
If you see our social media team wandering around the Square with a camera and armful of Suburban Square tote bags, don’t be shy — stop to say hello and tell us your story! We can’t wait to meet even more of the unique and diverse people we have the privilege of calling our visitors.