I can still remember the day Capital Center was opened. To me, that’s where the mall experience officially began, and quite frankly that’s what I would consider a benchmark for a mall. Nowadays, every Tom Dick and Harry can stick the term Mall to their building and that’s that. The bar has gone so low. That notwithstanding, there are some great malls that have been coming up in recent times. The major problem is that the supply of malls is extremely disproportional to the demand. Take a walk in some of the malls in Nairobi and you’ll notice that most of them are akin to halls. A few stores on the ground and first floor and not much past that.
A few days ago, I had an opportunity to visit Rosslyn Riviera Mall. The exact location is as indicated here on Google Maps. It’s basically along Limuru Road, a few kilometres from Two Rivers Mall. Which, in my opinion, was a very unfortunate placement. Everybody knows Two Rivers as the largest mall in East and Central Africa, therefore, everyone’s attention is there and all malls nearby are overshadowed by it.
I’ve been here about twice but I’ll confess that I didn’t pay a lot of attention the first two times. The last time I went, however, I was keener. I would say that most of the mall is vacant. From the ground floor to the top floor, I would say that there are more vacant than occupied stores. In my own opinion, I would say that about 60% of it is still unoccupied, but I don’t know, I’m just throwing figures out there. I could remember some memorable stores, however. I remember Red Fourth Academy being there. It’s a musical school of sorts. Nyumba Cinema, which is a private screening theatre. I’ve been there before and I really enjoyed the experience. It sits about thirty if I remember correctly, and it’s on the top floor, so no disturbance from the busier floors. The seats are comfy and the sound was awesome. The feeling of exclusivity was also a plus. It was, generally, a great experience. I think the anchor tenant at the moment is Chandrana foodplus. I’ve not shopped here before, so I don’t know what that’s like. Other stores that I noted were a Yallo Leather and a Chinese restaurant, not sure if it’s a restaurant or fast food, called Wing Hong restaurant. You can find the complete store directory here. Of course, I noted that Java but read on to find out.
The highlight of the day was the Java House on the top floor, that’s where we were headed. Generally, I feel like Java usually maintains great quality across their stores and this was no different. I guess the thing that made it special for me is that it seems to be in its own world. Not too much traffic, not too little traffic. The number of guests was just right. We sat on the raised section, which had an awesome view of the road below and the mall entryway. I loved the place!
We were there on a public holiday, but in spite of this, there were barely any people here. You guessed it, Two Rivers takes all the heat. There’s even free parking on the premises but it seems like that just won’t cut it. It seemed to me like a great place to just chill and pass time, perhaps at one of the food joints. A few kilometres away, at Two Rivers, the place was packed to capacity. You could barely get any space to walk and getting parking was hell.
From a consumer perspective, it’s generally a great mall. Everything is up to the expected standards, it’s unfortunate that all the attention is elsewhere. If you’re looking for a place that’s not crowded and good to just chill and pass time, I would definitely recommend this mall.
Have you been to Rosslyn Riviera Mall? What was your experience like? Talk to us via the communication options at the bottom of the page.