Lakewood Towne Center serves both as the main shopping hub in Lakewood, Washington, as well as the hub of Lakewood in general, which does not have a major downtown area. This is one of the major shopping centers of the South Sound area, too. There are many stores to choose from within the Towne Center, but there are also some municipal offices and other services very close by.
Before the Towne Center was built, this was the location of the Lakewood Mall, and you will still hear locals refer to this area as the Lakewood Mall at times. The Lakewood Mall, like many older-style malls, was all enclosed and on one story. The Towne Center is more a collection of stores and businesses than a mall—the center of the complex is filled with big box stores where the old mall used to be (the Target and Barnes and Noble stores are in the same locations they were when the mall was still here). Surrounding the larger stores is an outer area of restaurants, smaller stores, other big chain stores, and some local government buildings.
Lakewood Towne Center
5731 Main Street SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
Unlike Tacoma Mall or other area malls, the Lakewood Towne Center is not one single entity with a single set of hours. Each store has its own hours. These vary slightly between different stores, but if you get here during the usual retail store hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and closing at 6 p.m. on Sundays, you will usually find everything here open. Some stores do stay open later.
There are just over 30 stores that officially make up the Lakewood Towne Center. The most prominent of these are chain stores and include: Target, Barnes & Noble, AMC Theaters, Marshalls, Michaels, Old Navy, Ross, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, Pier 1 Imports, Office Depot, and Petsmart.
All in all, you can get just about any kind of shopping done here. There are two grocery stores here—Saar’s Market Place and Safeway. There are clothing stores, office stores, shoe stores, and a pet store. The Barnes & Noble here is unique in that it is the only large book store left in Tacoma (as of 2011) after all the mall bookstores and Borders shut down.
Restaurants and Other Businesses
The Lakewood Towne Center is also a fine place to eat, too. Officially included in the Towne Center are Panera Bread, Old Country Buffet, and La Palma Mexican Restaurant. However, there are many additional places to eat on the fringes of this complex as well. These include Red Robin, Applebee’s, the RAM, Panda Express, Garlic Jim’s (possibly the best pizza delivery in the Tacoma area), Denny’s, a few Starbucks, and more.
Also within the Towne Center is Lakewood’s reigning theater—the Lakewood Playhouse. This is one of the best theaters around for youth performance and involvement with a number of great youth programs (from young kids up to 18) that end with a performance. The regular shows range in topic from very serious and thought-provoking dramas to light comedies. While the theater may not look like much from the outside, it is worth taking in a show here if you live nearby.