The latest high profile American food chain to establish in Aruba is TGI Friday’s. It opened its doors recently at Paseo Herencia shopping mall. This would become the fourth Caribbean island where TGIF has a presence. TGIF is already active in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
This Palm Beach location where TGIF opened has a lot of potential. There was a time when Palm Beach strip was quiet and lack luster after sunset. The last few years Palm Beach is coming along nicely. Paseo Herencia might become the true engine of activity in Palm Beach. Though, construction of another mall east of Paseo Herencia, namely Palm Beach Plaza, is ongoing therefore nothing can be said yet about this project.
Normally I’m relatively skeptical on new developments as sometimes I label them ‘same old thing’ or ‘lacking creativity’. Before I give an opinion on the matter, I thought it would be wise to take a stroll down the boardwalk at Palm Beach during the week to educate myself. You would be surprised how little we – locals – really do that, as work and school really impedes a trip to Palm Beach during week days.
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised as I recognized a variety of vendors at Palm Beach. The prices tend to be on the high end, however, there is enough competition in food, retail and leisure for the consumer to choose from. There are small kiosks and I even saw the some culture and art represented at the short strip at Palm Beach.
Concluding, with some steering and guidance (by officials?) the boardwalk could become a vibrant multi-cultural area where locals and visitors alike come together. It could even be a jewel in the Caribbean. The challenge is to keep the projects small, variety broad and creativity flowing.