Sitting in the midst of an array of strip malls and North American fast food chains is a quiet, open center offering a variety of specialty stores, restaurants and beauty shops.
Slightly removed from the traffic of the busy road connecting Santa Ana and San Antonio de Belén, west of the capital, the Momentum Lindora center is made up of three main buildings, all connected by an enveloping parking lot and clean walkways.
The general motif seems to be controlled nature, with pools of polished stones running along strips of neatly kept grass lining the walkways.
Within the center is the Island of Restaurants, a two-story square structure that is home to a variety of different eateries, from a quick pizza place to a relaxed sports bar. Many of the restaurants have space on the second floor, offering attractive, open-air balcony seating.
Brad s Grille (2582-0724, www.bradsgrille.com) is a North American-style sports bar offering two different climates to watch the latest big sporting events: a relaxed restaurant on the first floor and a more lively and loud bar and lounge on the second (TT, Feb. 20). At the other end of the spectrum is the upscale Peruvian cevichería La Mar (2282-6856, www.lamarcebicheria.com).
The international chain offers a simple, serene setting, along with the tasty limemarinated fish dish popular around the region. For more of a European experience, La Crêpe Suzette (2582-1261) satisfies every sweet-toothed socialite s yearning for some of the Belgian delicacy, a cup of coffee and a nice place to talk with friends. Other options include chain favorites such as La Fabbrica Pizzeria for pizzas and pastas, Ichiban for sushi and other Japanese fare, and Spoon for sweet and salty pastries, salads, sandwiches and more.
Then, there are the shopping areas, all providing plenty of cover from both the sun and the rain, with the strip mall running the length of the parking lot up to the Island. Behind the Island sits the open plaza. Both offer specialty shops galore, with little focus on one specific clientele, said one of the center s representatives, Silvia Figueroa.
We try to offer something for just about everyone, she said, as we walked past a golf depot for dads, sitting happily next to a lingerie store for moms.
The center also houses a motorcycle store, a specialty design clothing shop, a spa, an orthodontist practice, a home and garden center, a jewelry store and a variety of places where one can obtain any number of manicures, pedicures and facials, as well as hair treatments, cuts and removal.
On top of everything else, the kids don t have to be a meddlesome part of the shopping experience; whining, whimpering and dragging feet can become nothing more than a distant flashback from the ghost of shopping past.
The Go Bananas kids play center (2282-7044) is a small building where parents can leave their young ones of up to 12 years in the care of trained professionals while they socialize and shop. Five trained staffers are on duty until 7 p.m. Prices vary, depending on how many kids are being dropped off.
Not only can shoppers not bring their kids into stores, but they can bring their pets. The whole center is a pet-friendly site, with an animal clinic on the premises as well.
Finally, there is the spa or spas. Anka Spa (2282-7124, www.ankaspa.com) is divided into two: one for men (Anka Men) and the other for women (that s right! Anka Women). The spas offer a variety of options, from hair and nail work to massages and workout facilities. It s set up as a fashion-oriented club in fact, it is a club, for those who pay the monthly membership fee.
The beautiful and open design makes Momentum Lindora an attractive place to spend the day, make a few purchases, pamper oneself and grab a bite to eat on a breezy open balcony.
Location: Santa Ana-Belén road, across from the Auto Mercado
Built: November 2007
Number of stores: 25, including 12 restaurants
Rental price: $22 to $24 per square meter, per month
Parking spaces: 300
Contact: 2282-6980, 2282-5004, www.momentumlindora.com