Big changes coming to River Park Shopping Center

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- River Park, the popular Fresno shopping center, is set to welcome a number of new shops while many store owners are slowly beginning to reopen.

Just as stay at home restrictions are beginning to lift and the economy slowly reopens, officials are encouraged with the improvements coming to the popular North Fresno shopping center.

Despite being shuttered since mid-March and the unprecedented challenges ahead for business owners, tenant anchor Regal Cinemas recently announced a new 15-year agreement with River Park.

As part of the deal, a multi-million dollar renovation project is expected to begin in the coming weeks to modernize all 22 auditoriums as well as upgrade areas in and outside of Edwards Theater.

"There will be a new lobby when you get in and new concession stands and there will be an area to hang out in. It's going to be amazing, state of the art done really well," said Tracy Kashian with River Park public relations.

While the global pandemic has slowed some construction, it hasn't stopped business owners from moving into some of the empty spaces at River Park, including Paso Robles based Barrelhouse Brewery Co, which is set to open sometime this summer.

"The front of their store is completely refaced which is the old Wavelengths space. They've brought in this amazing old brick on the front of their building and its a really cool new experience here. Something we haven't here at River Park but definitely needed," Kashian said.

While many of the shops remain closed Smallcakes is a new eatery that offers sweet treats to shoppers. Previously located in Northwest Fresno, the owner decided to bring these fresh from scratch signature flavors to River Park.

Monday was part of a soft opening for the national chain.

"Looking at the customers, looking at the environment its such a great place to be at. Such a great environment. It's exciting and it's something new," said owner Sukhi Nahal.

While new tenants and construction offer a different look, the one constant you'll find the next time you visit River Park are these hand washing stations located throughout the shopping center.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.