Why America Loves the Food Court

Need to take a break for a moment? How about a warm and buttery Cinnabon cinnamon roll? Maybe you’d prefer a battered corn dog from Hot Dog on a Stick? Of course you don’t have to choose just one, these options and more are available in the food court at The Boulevard. Whether you are enjoying lunch while shopping or feeding the kids after a visit to SeaQuest, the food court is the perfect place to spend some time. Why do American’s love food courts so much? While you enjoy that Auntie Anne’s pretzel, let’s take a trip into the history and culture of the food court.

The New Community Picnic

In the late 1950’s, architect James Rouse saw that something important was missing from the new suburbs that were being built across the United States. These still forming communities lacked the downtown core of urban cities. To solve this issue, he designed enclosed shopping centers that would serve as the town squares of suburban life.

Along with the retail stores, these centers would also feature food and dining. Complimenting space for traditional restaurants, Rouse also designed an open eating area with shared seating in rows of tables. He based the food court design on the concept of the community picnic. Just like at a picnic, there is time to linger and enjoy your food with friends and family.

The Cultural Icon

It’s clear that the food court has made an indelible mark on American culture. The majority of classic teen movies from the 1980’s and 1990’s feature iconic scenes taking place in food courts. From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Mallrats, Hollywood loves to portray action, drama, and comedy as it happens in a food court.

When you visit the food court at The Boulevard, you’ll be sure of enjoying good food in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Stop by during your next visit, some Mrs Fields Cookies just came out of the oven.