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Greendale Mall Is Closing: Bigger Dump – Greendale Mall vs. Auburn Mall

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Editor’s Note: This is a blog we published in May of 2015. We are reblogging it today because it was just announced that the Greendale Mall will be put up to auction. It used to be a great place, but it has turned into the Midtown Mall on steroids. 

Anyone who grew up in and around Worcester knows that we were robbed of the normal teenage mall experience that we were promised in our favorite movies. But we basically had two options in the 508 – Auburn or Greendale. Back in my day we didn’t have the fancy pants Solomon Pond Mall. And in all honesty, it wasn’t THAT terrible 20 years ago. But when you go to malls like Natick, Providence, and Burlington, you realize how bad we got the shaft in the Woo. Even Goddamn HOLYOKE gets a nice mall. Holyoke!! Holyoke should NEVER have nicer things than Worcester. Ever.

But a lot has changed since the good ol’ days. The Solomon Pond Mall and the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley have basically taken a steamy dump on our once revered icons. So we decided it was time to do a comparison to see which mall was less terrible – Auburn or Greendale. You be the judge.

Auburn Mall

The Auburn Mall is basically three gigantic department stores (Macy’s, Macy’s Homegoods, Sears) sprinkled in with some chain stores and a bunch of gypsy kiosks. I call them that because you can buy something at some of these kiosks one day and come back a week later when the crap you bought off them broke and find out that those magical gypsies skipped town a long time ago.

A major difference between real malls and the Auburn Mall is that real malls aren’t all one floor. Here’s the Burlington Mall

Copyright/Credit ©Bruce T. Martin All Rights Reserved 508-655-7557

Here’s the Providence Mall


Here’s the Auburn Mall


Almost everything in the Auburn Mall is a chain store that could only possibly appear in a mall. And they all sell the same exact shit. Like Olympia Sports, Foot Locker


and Finish Line


I hate walking into these places. All I wanna do is look at which shoes I want so I can go home and order them off Amazon for $20 less. Then some poor schmuck comes up to me and asks me if I need help. You have no choice but to lie at this point. “I’m just looking for now, but I’ll let you know when I wanna try something on.” Then I sneak out when they’re not looking.

There’s also a bunch of other random stores that I’ve never heard of before, like Cracy 8


and the Wet Seal


Why would you ever name your store the “Wet Seal?” Seriously, someone invested a whole bunch of money in a business, and said, “I’m gonna name my clothing store after a slippery see mammal that attracts all those sharks to Cape Cod every summer.” It sonds like if I went in there I’d fall down. Is this a popular store for women or something? Does anyone out there regularly shop at the Wet Seal?

The Auburn Mall also is filled with clothing stores that you thought were cool 15 years ago like American Eagle





and Abercrombie and Fitch


These were the only places we bought clothes from in high school. We were all so dumb. You’re basically paying these stores a ridiculous amount of money to advertise for them by wearing a shirt that some 8 year old made in Bangladesh in a crowded room with no light, no air, and a lone man banging a drum. Seriously though, who dresses like this?


They certainly don’t dress like that at the Blarney. None of those people looks like they’d ever wanna hang out with me.

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There’s one area of the mall that smells like a french whorhouse – the little divot that brings you to Macy’s.


I don’t know why they put the women’s perfume section at the beginning of this store, but I feel like I’m going through a gauntlet of burlesque on my way to the clearance rack upstairs.


Another thing I don’t understand about this area is why competing businesses choose to set up directly next to each other. I mean, if you work at Hannoush Jewelers, don’t you despise the assholes at Zales with every ounce of hate you can muster out of your body?



And in that same little nook there are literally competing Korean spas directly across the way from each other



Other than it’s just a bunch of kiosks. For instance, maybe you’re in the mood to get your hair did


Other than that it’s just a bunch of gypsy sun glass guys and cell phone peddlars


and I think we can all agree that the guy who sits there all day on his iPhone has the sweetest job ever


After that you can hit up the world class Auburn Mall food court, featuring world famous chef Master Wok


And it wouldn’t be a world class mall experience without taking a ride in one of these bad boys


Some day I will sit in one of those things for an entire day and feed it money out of a sock full of quarters. But I dream.

Anyway, there is really only one store in the Auburn Mall that you simply MUST go to


The dollar store. Where everything costs a dollar and nine cents. Plus tax. The $1.09 store has everything you need for your high class shopping experience, including a “Sassy” key chain


fine China


a magnifying glass for detective work


every kid’s favorite card game, Zazuu’s Quest



birthday cards for your favorite juvenile


whatever this thing is


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Roget’s Thesaurus


$1.09 sunglasses



the complete guide of African Grey Parrots


and of course home pregnancy tests.


Because why wouldn’t you buy your home pregnancy test at the $1.09 store in the Auburn Mall?

I did buy an iPhone charger there. As we write this it is plugged in, and somehow I am losing battery.

Greendale Mall

I used to love this place when I was younger. It had an elevator, the Dream Machine, a Marshall’s, a KB Toy’s, and a bad ass food court. Now it’s basically a TJ Maxx, Best Buy, and the Mid Town Mall. 90% of the time I’m going in through Best Buy. When I leave that place I feel like I’m crossing into Tijuana, except Best Buy it’s harder to sneak out of Best Buy


I seriously feel like I’m about to board a plane every time I leave this place and have to show the receipt for the headphones I just paid for, to some guy who as 15 feet away from the transaction as it took place. One day I’m going to run out of that place with a washing machine and never look back. But I dream.

Anyway, the Greendale Mall is most definitely not how I remember it. I mean, it’s basically the same as it was back then, except now it just lacks, stores, people, hopes, and dreams.


Some of the stores apparently don’t pay their electric bill



Oh good. More mall cell phones. Besides that the Greendale Mall is basically a collection of wig stores


whatever this place sells


furniture outlets


chain shoe stores



Bling Bling Fashion


Bling Bling Fashion Limited



Wink wedding dresses (because who doesn’t buy their wedding dress at the Greendale Mall?)


Chic D’Afrique



competing nail salons


a never ending supply of gumball machines





places where stores used to be




Elevators that used to work


and a food court that used to have food



and of course no Worcester shopping mall would be complete without a $1.09 plus tax store. Except this store not only has birthday cards for your favorite juvenile

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iPhone chargers


these things





and of course Goya.


Because you can never have enough $1.09 plus tax store Goya.

So obviously both the Greendale and Auburn Malls are magical places of enchantment. Which do you prefer for your elegant Worcester County shoppint experience?

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54 Comment(s)
  • Tom
    July 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    You youngsters amuse me. The mall of everyone’s dreams was clearly the downtown Galleria, circa the early 1980’s.

  • August 28, 2016 at 7:51 am

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  • Reeeeeerrr
    April 29, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Whoever wrote this has to be like early 20’s in age. The galleria (Worcester common fashion outlets) was what we grew up with

    • Finnish Goaile
      April 29, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Or someone that grew up along Southbridge Street.

      Not that far of a drive to Caldor back in the day I figure.

  • nooooonope
    April 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    “Elevators that used to work”

    Is Fredericks of Hollywood still there?

    • FiestyLawyerLady
      April 28, 2016 at 9:57 pm


  • Wabbitt
    April 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    One thing Auburn has going for it – Payless.

    I have an odd shoe size (12 wide), and it’s hard to find shoes that fit right. A 13 is way too big, a 12 is too small, and a 12 and a half fits in the width but not the length. Wal-Mart NEVER has black non-slip shoes in my size. Payless always does.

    So I go over to the Auburn Mall, get a pair of shoes, fend off the sort of cute but highly annoying sales girl trying to sell me socks to go with the shoes, and go across the street to Arby’s for lunch.

  • Sad
    April 28, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I dont understand something, there’s a little thing called “supply and demand.” And sure, I see that Worcester-ites main concern is not being fashion forward, but come on! You can’t spend your whole life buying flammable clothing from bling bling fashion. If the people of Worcester spent as much on clothing as they do on drugs and chasing broken dreams, maybe a mall could survive in this town!!

  • Fatfingr Lou
    April 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What fun was Christmas shopping as a kid without buying some trashy/insulting stuff for your brother at Auburn Mall’s Spencer Gifts ?

  • Joe Max
    April 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    They’re both outdated dumps. Auburn mall has one-up on Greendale. A woman was murdered there in 2014, she was found in the garage dead. The genius killer was caught and is in the slammer at the moment.

  • Alexander Knight
    April 28, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    …aaaaaand the Macy’s home store is now gone from Auburn! So it’s now down to 2, count ’em, anchor stores….and a bunch of shit, but at least you can still get panties at the semi annual sale!

    • Dm
      April 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Actually the Home Store got consolidated into the main Macy store as they’re planning on building a Cinema and restaurant where Old Caldor/Home Store resides. Whether it’ll bring people in droves to the Auburn Mall or not is anyone’s guess.

  • Annonymous
    April 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Good article. Spell check next time though.

    • Alexander Knight
      April 28, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      You might want to spell check your username first, jackass.

    • Go Celtics!!
      April 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Hahaha anonymous

      • Go Celtics!!
        April 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        Can’t get over that one hahaha telling someone to use spell check while posting under an incorrectly spelled word……tell me that was on purpose please lie if you have to I don’t want to believe people are actually that stupid

  • The Great Dolemite
    April 28, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Yo brotha! What mall store am selling Turtleboy hoodies?

  • AuburnForLife
    April 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    You are drastically under-rating those cell phone kiosks. Ever need a new screen protector? Go to one of those and a Russian chick will put it on your phone so fast and so tight, all you’ll be able to think of is that she puts on condom on the same way.

  • Chaz
    May 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Greendale laps the field in terms of dumpiness.

  • Kerri
    May 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    That’s a picture of an escalator, sir, not an elevator.

    • Go Celtics!!
      April 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Greendale also had a glass elevator I believe this is what he is referring to

      • Go Celtics!!
        April 28, 2016 at 4:55 pm

        And I just realized I replied to a comment from 2015….. Haha

        • Wabbitt
          April 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm

          Well, a year later and it’s still an escalator.

          • Celtics out
            April 30, 2016 at 9:22 pm

            I was actually responding to Kerri as I initially thought he was responding to your mention of the elevator then realizing he was responding to the turtle error in the article

  • Finnish Goalie
    May 19, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Who enjoyed perusing the fine merchandise of Caldor?

  • Adam
    May 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I’d definitely choose Auburn Mall over Greendale Mall any day of the week. I never cared for going to mall with local stores inside because 9 times out of 10 they’re just trashy and the merchandise they sell is next to worthless. It’s too bad they never went through with adding that second floor to the Auburn Mall when they were making those major renovations.

  • Peter
    May 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

    People stopped going to Greendale when people started getting robbed there. It’s dead and everyone knows it.

  • Patrick
    May 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    You should def add the Mall At Whitney Field (Searstown Mall in Leominster) to that list. That place used to be awesome, (at least what I remember from 15-20 years ago. Now it’s a shell with almost nothing for a food court, and the same common chain stores you see everywhere else.

    • nooooonope
      April 28, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      +/- 15 years ago- it was a DUMP (when it was Searstown).
      A little better when it became the MAWF.
      Hadn’t been there in a few years so unsure about now.

  • Wabbitt
    May 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Auburn’s main appeal back in the day was York Steakhouse. That place was awesome. Stopping there was the only reason I ever wanted to go back to school shopping at Caldors.

    Greendale, however, had that cool glass elevator. Yeah, you only went up or down one floor, but it was still cool when I was 10.

    • RJ
      May 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      That place was a self serve soft serve pioneer

  • Jon Venus
    May 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve seen several of your posts and I see a pattern. You have a problem with the Worcester county area and what it has to offer. I have a suggestion for you…… MOVE!

  • RSoxGuy
    May 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Any real Woo kid knows the Galleria was the place to be.

    • Finnish Goalie
      May 16, 2015 at 11:25 am

      WWE wrestlers in the food court before an event, childhood memories.

  • Nik
    May 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I remember hanging out at both in the 90’s. But Greendale more often than the latter. Greendale Mall just seemed to be “the hang out spot” after school. We’d walk from Voke, down Grove, all the way to Greendale, attempt to cross the ramp that brings you off exit 1 and prayed that someone actually stopped at that cross walk. Then spent all day there, until mom/dad picked us up. Unless we sae some hottie leaving the old RMV office over bybthe foodcourt…then we’d flirt our way to future mall rides. Though when we could, we’d go to Auburn Mall on the weekends. This was our big spending mall. $20 got us lunch at York’s and a shirt from ChessKing, because ya know, you had to go buy a shirt from the chess king hottie. Then, whatever change was left, would go to a new acrylic rectangular sarcastic keychain quote for our major acrylic keychain addiction. You were only as cool as how many acrylic keychains you had that seemed to describe your teenage days. If I had to choose, I’d go with Greendale only because now its a crap shoot. But the memories I have from both malls as a teenager, Greendale brings back more memories for me.

    • Alexander Knight
      April 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Please, say “hottie” again.

  • Last Worcester Standing
    May 16, 2015 at 8:43 am

    “I hate walking into these places. All I wanna do is look at which shoes I want so I can go home and order them off Amazon for $20 less.”

    And right there you just explained why the malls are slowly falling to feces. The term for that is “Gentleman’s Shoplifting”

    • Dude
      May 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

      The term for that is “capitalism” or “free markets” or “freedom of choice”

      • Kat
        April 28, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        It’s called smart lol

    • George
      December 17, 2016 at 8:38 am

      It could also be people that not support local business you know like the ones that go just to look and then buying online..

  • Jimmy The Gat
    May 16, 2015 at 8:33 am

    They should be filming zombie movies at the Greendale Mall!

  • TurtleBoySpurts
    May 16, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Aww, don’t sell yourself short, TB Sports is by far the biggest dump. Just a steaming, stinking pile, corn, and everything.

    • Andrew A
      May 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Awww your so cute. You even went out of your way to make a fake name and run your mouth. Come back when you have your big boy/girl pants on!

  • Finnish Goalie
    May 16, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Grew up with the Auburn Mall. Anyone else remember the old stand alone Chinese restaurant that used to be in the side entrance?

    Greendale used to be neat for an excursion, but it was mostly just to kill an hour or two in that arcade.

    • Anie
      May 28, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Yes!! And I remember they had a friendly’s restaurant…

  • RJ
    May 16, 2015 at 6:56 am

    At least the Auburn Mall has an orange julius.

    • Bobby
      May 16, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Amen to Orange Julius!!!

    • Paco
      April 29, 2016 at 9:41 am

      So does mosiac.

    • wtatnuckgangsta
      April 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      My Korean friend’s parents used to own that OJ. They even moved on to the now non-existent Evergreen Market next to the glass town downtown. One is dead. None of this matters. Auburn used to remind me of the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” mall about 20 years ago. Then they renovated it and it became Greendale.

  • Jessica
    May 16, 2015 at 6:39 am

    my friends refers to the Greendale bathrooms as “the rape tunnel.” No one would ever hear you scream.

  • O the humanities
    May 16, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Greendale should be hit with a wrecking ball with only the TJ MAXX left standing, because it’s the only reason anyone ever goes in there. Oh wait: DSW. if you combine TJ’s and DSW you get Marshall’s, so just go to Millbury and be done with it.

  • jafreese
    May 16, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Greendale is worse by far. But, contrary to your comment about it not being what teenage movies promised, it actually was a typical mall design of the era it was built. There were many built with the same design at around the same time. One is the Arsenal Mall in Watertown, although that has some recent improvements, and has the coolest food court ever because the old Boston Garden scoreboard is hanging there.

    Natick, Providence, etc are much more modern of course. But if you want to really feel neglected and depressed, check out some newer malls in warmer climates that are basically like Natick but open air.

  • Savvybear Turtleneck
    May 16, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Greendale is a ghetto dump.

    • Paco
      April 29, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Both exist for the distribution of narcotics. Gangbanger haven at Greendale and the worst, ghetto stores on the planet, but there was an near fatal stabbing and actual dead bodies found in Auburn, along with hog-wild shoplifting. Everything free in Auburn. So it’s a tie.

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