The Rec Room to Open in Former Target Space at Square One

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Cineplex-owned “eats & entertainment destination” The Rec Room has announced that it will open a 44,000 square foot two-level location at Mississauga’s Square One, in part of the mall’s retail space that was formerly occupied by Target. It’s addressing the trend of adding attractions to retail centres, and will be a welcome addition to burgeoning downtown Mississauga. 

The Rec Room brings together multiple dining environments, amusement gaming, technology and live entertainment experiences in an auditorium-style space, all under one roof. Cineplex plans to open between 10-15 new Rec Room locations, each between 40,000 and 60,000 square feet, customized to the individual community. About half of the space is dedicated to dining and live entertainment, and half for amusement games and feature attractions.  

The Rec Room at Square One will include:

  • Three10: an upscale casual restaurant, playfully named after Canada’s three territories and 10 provinces, featuring wood-fired pizza and Canadian-inspired cuisine,
  • The Shed: A quick service destination that includes a poutinerie with elevated toppings like porchetta, smoked brisket, lobster and wild mushrooms.  It will also feature a custom donut bar, called ‘The Pumps’,
  • A bar area with large HD screens — Cineplex says there will also be multiple bars throughout the space serving draught wines and over 20 draught beers, including several local craft beers,
  • The Yard: A large attractions area with over 100 amusement games. Credits earned are tracked on RFID wristbands and can be redeemed at The Trophy Case redemption store for a wide variety of prizes, and top earners will be profiled on The Rec Room’s legendary leaderboard,
  • Feature attractions including virtual reality and race car simulators, as well as bowling lanes, air hockey, pool and ping pong,
  • Multiple performance spaces, including a state-of-the-art auditorium, and
  • Multiple private dining rooms.

“We are a passionate and genuine partner in creating and driving positive growth and development at Square One and in the Mississauga downtown core, which is why we are so pleased to be partnering with Cineplex on this exciting new venture that I know our guests will love,” said Greg Taylor, Director and General Manager at Square One. The Rec Room will occupy a portion of Square One’s former 164,000 square foot Target space, as per renderings in this article. Mr. Taylor described how downtown Mississauga is booming, and how Square One is at the heart of the burgeoning city. The Rec Room will also see traffic from nearby Sheridan College, not to mention thousands of new residential units that will be added to the immediate area in the coming years. 

The Rec Room is also in line with landlord Oxford Properties’ initiative to roughly double the square footage of the food and beverage offerings in its centres. The Rec Room takes that to a whole new level, with an entertainment focus reminiscent of that offered at West Edmonton Mall

Canada’s top shopping centres are now in the ‘entertainment industry’, adding non-retail amenities to attract and keep shoppers on site. It’s a trend discussed in Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study which was released earlier this year. Square One ranked as one of Canada’s most productive malls in the study, with annual sales per square foot surpassing the $1,000 benchmark. 

The Rec Room opened its very first location at Edmonton’s South Edmonton Common in the fall of 2016. It has announced that it will open future locations in downtown Toronto at Roundhouse Park, at West Edmonton Mall, at Deerfoot City in Calgary, and at CF Masonville Place in London. Yesterday, as well, Cineplex announced that it would open its first Rec Room in the BC Lower Mainland, at The Amazing Brentwood in Burnaby, east of Vancouver. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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