Shopping arcade in Bonn Maximiliancenter open again - but many stores are not
Bonn · The shopping arcade in Maximiliancenter opened up again last Friday after closing in June of 2021 due to flood damage. But not all stores are back in business at the underground arcade in Bonn Central Station.
It's been more than a year since a summer thunderstorm with heavy rain paralyzed Bonn's Maximiliancenter in Bonn Central Station. Part of the basement was flooded, and the shopping center's central power supply failed. The renovation work dragged on indefinitely for months, and the opening date was postponed several times by the owner, Bayerische Versorgungskammer. The Maxmo pharmacy was the first tenant to move out of the shopping center in December. The remaining stores and snack bars were allowed to reopen for the first time last Friday.
A walk through the center three days after reopening shows that around one in three stores remain closed - at least for the time being. These include the "Dean & David" snack bar, "Wonder Waffle", "Kiosk 24" and the "Service Punkt" shoe and key service. A few of the businesses such as the "Korean BBQ Grill" and "Che Falafel," have signs posted that say "Closed for repairs until mid-July." The escalator that leads directly down from Poststrasse is currently out of order due to construction.
Businesses report staff shortages
Mehmed Alichi manages the snack bar "Pizza Maxi Döner Falafel". His assessment of the first weekend since opening is sobering. "There have been far fewer people passing through than before, and of those, maybe ten percent come to us," he says. Many people probably didn't know that the stores were open again, he suspects, and there is no advertising space above ground.
He has to hire a completely new staff: Due to the pandemic and the long closure period, he says he lost all of his employees. "It will take time, but I will not give up hope," he says. An employee of "Hotalo - Vietnamese Street Food" also reports severe staff shortages.
Some storefronts cannot be seen, as they are apparently completely closed. Others allow a view through the glass panes or electric blinds: At "Wonder Waffle”, tarps cover the seating, in the beauty salon "GM Empire”, supplies and building materials are standing around. It’s the same at "Service Punkt". At "Dean & David", there is nothing except building materials to indicate that it will reopen soon.
The chain stores are back
Many of the stores that have reopened are affiliated with large retail chains. The drugstore dm is back, as is Kentucky Fried Chicken, Rewe To Go and the second Backwerk branch in the main station. "People have to notice again that we are here, but the first weekend went quite well anyway," comments dm store manager Theo Funke.
Backwerk employee Maher Mansour tells us, "It's been very quiet so far, it used to be busier." He looked for another job during the closure period, but returned to his old location. An employee from the cell phone repair service "Exphone" also says there hasn't been much going on so far - possibly due to the summer holidays. (Orig. text: Johanna Lübke / Translation: ck)