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Sad-looking shelves, gloomy vibe greet visitors of Greenbelt 1 amid impending closure

Other nostalgic stores that are set to close are National Book Store, McDonald’s along Paseo de Roxas, Tickles, Auntie Anne’s and Big Chill for the four-year redevelopment plan.

It’s the end of an era.

According to a report in the Manila Standard, perishable items like fresh milk are disappearing from the shelves of Greenbelt 1’s Marketplace and Mercury Drug Store as the Makati icon “prepares to close its doors in less than two weeks.”

Greenbelt 1 will be closed in observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, March 28 to 29, before reopening for its final two days of operation on Black Saturday and Easter Sunday.

Greenbelt 1 will be closed for property owner Ayala Land Inc.’s four-year redevelopment plan. Photo from Wikipedia

With this, regular Greenbelt 1 patrons, Makatizens, and batang ’80s and ’90s feel an ache in their heart as some of the mall’s most iconic establishments have also started closing down.

Among this is Cafe Via Mare, which will close Greenbelt 1 branch on March 31. According to Cafe Via Mare’s Instagram post on March 19, the location holds a “special place” in their heart as it’s the birthplace of the famous Filipino fine dining restaurant Sept. 5, 1975.

The post also thanked its loyal patrons for their “unwavering love and support at our Greenbelt 1 location.” Fans need not worry too much though as the cafe is set to open a Greenbelt 5 branch soon, as announced in the same Facebook post. 

Other nostalgic stores that are set to close in Greenbelt 1 are National Book Store, McDonald’s along Paseo de Roxas, Tickles, Auntie Anne’s, and Big Chill.

Aside from Café Via Mare in Greenbelt 1, another Greenbelt icon, Café Mary Grace closed its doors last January to give way to Greenbelt 2’s redevelopment. It was the homegrown brand’s flagship branch and was in operation for 12 years. News of the branch’s closure also made many misty-eyed. 

The closures mark the beginning of a four-year renovation for Greenbelt 1, part of Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) redevelopment plan for its major malls in Metro Manila and Cebu. Greenbelt 2 already previously underwent a similar closure for upgrades.

Because of this, many netizens expressed their sadness and nostalgia at the closures of these Makati icons.

X (formerly Twitter) user @diesisyete, for instance, shared her Greenbelt 1 memories.

X user @wendysonaride also expressed her sadness at the mall’s closure, saying that it has been a part of her childhood.

Ayala Malls vice president AC Legarda said Greenbelt 1, designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, will reopen in 2028.

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is investing P13 billion to revamp four malls across Metro Manila and Cebu. The goal is to enhance aesthetics, improve customer experience, and create spaces that inspire retailers to bring their best offerings. Trinoma in Quezon City, Glorietta in Makati, and Ayala Center Cebu are the other malls included in the redevelopment project.

“The redevelopment will unleash the full potential of the malls’ retail spaces, enhance areas for gathering and experiences, and create spaces that challenge Ayala Malls’ retailers to bring their best,” ALI said in a statement.

ALI operates 32 malls across the Philippines, with a combined gross leasable area of 2.1 million square meters.

Associate Editor

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