Biz Beat

Something old, something new at Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall

Regional visual manager John Mendoza, left, and manager Selemon Mesmer prepare the Cotton On apparel store for a soft opening at Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Regional visual manager John Mendoza, left, and manager Selemon Mesmer prepare the Cotton On apparel store for a soft opening at Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. aalfaro@modbee.com

Construction crews have been busy at Vintage Faire Mall in recent weeks.

Several retailers are moving in to vacant spots. And a few current businesses will relocate temporarily while their digs are refreshed, marketing manager Annie Amies said.

The new tenants include a jeweler, a Mexican restaurant and an Australia-based clothing retailer.

The last is called Cotton On, and its official grand opening will be May 21 on the first level of the mall near H&M, Amies said. The spot formerly was occupied by teen clothier Love Culture.

“Cotton on” is a British phrase that, according to the Cambridge Dictionary online, means to begin to understand. Sort of like we on this side of the pond would use “caught on,” I suppose.

According to the company’s website, “To ‘cotton on’ to something means to understand or discover the potential of a great idea. As a group, we’ve always believed in big ideas matched with a fierce will to bring them to life.”

And it all started with acid-washed denim. Founder Nigel Austin, whose father owned a manufacturing and importing business, took a pile of acid-washed jackets to a market in Geelong, a city in Victoria, Australia. He didn’t have any success at first but sold out when he dropped the prices.

When I took a spin through the Cotton On website, I didn’t see any acid wash, thankfully – though the ill-advised style of my youth did see a resurgence recently.

“Cotton On is not driven by the latest catwalk trends, but has captured the quintessential Aussie style – effortless, relaxed, authentic and real,” company spokeswoman Andie Ridel said in an email. “Cotton On delivers fast, fun fashion and on-trend quality basics designed to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Product offerings include menswear, womenswear, shoes and accessories. I asked who the target market is. Ridel’s reply: “While we welcome customers of all ages, our portfolio of seven brands typically caters to newborns through to young adults.”

In addition to Cotton On, the mall soon will be home to a Pandora shop. The jeweler is mostly known for charm bracelets that are customizable to life events, hobbies and the like. Pandora is building in a former Cathy Jean’s site near the Macy’s men’s store, Amies said.

The mall also is getting a new taqueria in its food court. Taqueria de Especial is taking over the site most recently occupied by Southern Kitchen and formerly a Taxi’s hamburger restaurant.


Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

A company that has its ups and downs – literally – is expanding into Turlock.

Get Air Trampoline Park will open on West Main Street sometime late this summer or early fall, partner Jack Wu said. Get Air has locations throughout the United States, in Canada and Japan, according to its website. Turlock will be the park’s first Northern California site.

The 12,000-square-foot facility is going in next to Planet Fitness, another sign of health in that resurgent shopping center after Grocery Outlet opened there last year.

Wu said he would keep me posted on the progress as construction gets going and the opening date draws near. Stay tuned.


And finally, Sandude Brewing Co. is getting closer to opening its tasting room on 11th Street in downtown Modesto. The Turlock-based craft brewer announced Friday it will open its downtown Modesto tasting room Thursday at 11 a.m. The company is hiring for positions including manager, bartenders and servers.

Anyone who is interested in applying can send a résumé to careers@sandudebrewing.com.

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