I popped down the road to check out the new, all-improved Bangsar Village today. Although it’s technically been open a few days already, today was the official opening day.
As a relatively long-time Bangsarian (been here since 1990), plus the fact that this place is literally a stone’s throw from my house (well, maybe with the help of a slingshot), I’m quite delighted that the long-abandoned former abode of Hankyu Jaya has now been resurrected.
But take note, this is not another mega-shopping centre ala Suria KLCC or the monstrous Mid Valley Megamall. It isn’t even a chic hangout joint for the well-heeled expats like the Bangsar Shopping Centre. This place seems to basically be a slightly souped-up neighbourhood convenience store.
It took me approximately 10 minutes to walk the entire length of the place (although that’s also due to my rather fast walking speed, a habit picked up in England that I’m unable to shake off), so it’s not really that big.
Once I got the measure of the place, I took a much slower walk (which kind of results in me acting like John Cleese in those Ministry of Silly Walks sketches) and tried to take slightly closer look at the joint.
The Village Grocer has a large supermarket there, and it looks like they were already doing brisk business. Now, for those not used to Bangsar, there already exists a popular grocery and convenience store in Lucky Garden – TMC. Indeed, locals like to think it was because of TMC’s overwhelming popularity (especially among the older generation) that led to Hankyu Jaya’s downfall. So, Village Grocer certainly has its work cut out if they’re going to pull TMC’s loyal customers towards them.
Other places (that I can remember off the top of my head) are Nando’s, a toy store (Toys R Us?), two video/music stores, an electronics store (with plasma TVs and DVD players), a hairstylist (Kool Kutz), and a sports clothes store (where an overzealous shop assistant kept shadowing me while I was browsing around – I really wanted to turn around and throw a punch at him, but fortunately I decided he wasn’t worth having his teeth embedded in my knuckles.)
There were also a couple of places for dining (besides Nando’s), but I didn’t try out any of those places. There’s also a space for MPH to move in from their present location, which is next to Maybank.
There’s also a lot more parking spaces in the underground parking area. Will this means the end of double-parking along Jalan Telawi? I doubt it…
So what is Bangsar Village? Think Suria KLCC without the sophistication, Megamall without the extra space, Berjaya Times Square without the hype, and Bangsar Shopping Centre without the expats. Don’t forget to subtract expensive retail outlets, young, upwardly-mobile execs with laptops, and lovey-dovey couples.
That is Bangsar Village.
Oh hell, I know I’m generalising, and I do hope this place turns out to be a success. I’d hate to see the place being abandoned again in the future.
Read more on Bangsar Village here.
On another note, I’ve got my tix for I, Robot tomorrow. Will it be, as this blogger says, “the best example of fanfiction ever“, or am I going to come out of the cinema thinking, “Thank God Isaac Asimov isn’t alive to see this”…?