The door being lowered in front Zen LLC comic in Birchwood Mall did not prevent a handful of people from coming to inspect the new store on Wednesday.
Jason Sawyer, the store owner, said he moved to the Fort Gratiot Township Mall from 1217 Griswold Street, which felt out of the way and was on a road out of Port Huron.
“Being here in the mall is going to be very interesting and exciting,” he said.
Zen comic is one of the five tenants at Birchwood shopping center who have opened or plan to open soon, said mall general manager Lois Potts.
Other tenants include:
- Headspace Lounge, owned by Alayna Horan, which opened on June 19.
- Sbarro, which plans to open in the food court in early July.
- Peace of Cake, a local baker, which plans to open in the former Burger King on August 1.
- Mainly Michigan, which primarily sells products made in Michigan and plans to open in September.
The Gaming Lab, a virtual reality arcade room, also opened in the former Campus Den of Birchwood Mall on June 18.
Potts said his goal is to have a new tenant in 90 days. She’s already won five.
“We are definitely past that,” she said.
She said she focused on bringing local businesses to the mall and that local people are “really the foundation of our community.”
Potts said she would like to see some type of boutique or clothing store come to the women’s, children’s or men’s mall, as there is a need for more clothing stores in the mall. Although a clothing store is her next focus, she said she was open to working with different companies.
Sawyer said Comic Book Zen is right next to Aunt Anne’s pretzels, two doors down from the living room and close to the AMC cinema. He’s thrilled that potential superhero fans are visiting his store with the premier of “Black Widow” in July.
The comic book store has movie posters, vintage toys from the 1990s, and “great conversation pieces.”
Sawyer said he was excited about the change of venue. When he was on Griswold Street, he knew that when people walked through the door, they were there to see him. In the mall there is an inherent curious culture with all the different stores catering to different interests.
“There will definitely be a lot more choice and a lot more motivation to come here,” he said.