Westfield Valencia Town Center to shutter doors amid coronavirus fears

Shoppers congregate at the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Black Friday. Photo Tom Cruze/For the Signal
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The Westfield Valencia Town Center is set to close its doors Thursday in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision comes after Westfield’s national headquarters made a decision Wednesday to close all of its U.S. shopping centers for all but “essential” retail outlets, according to officials.

“Westfield Valencia Town Center is one of the U.S. shopping centers affected by today’s announcement,” said John Musella, spokesman for the Westfield Valencia Town Center. “The Center has postponed all events until we are beyond this crisis.”

Restaurants within the Westfield Valencia Town Center are allowed to remain open for takeout. Patrons can contact individual restaurants for additional information.

“Conscious of both the directives, and uniform feedback from government, and in the interest in protecting the welfare of our employees, retail partners and the communities we serve, we are making this decision to temporarily close our shopping centers,” said Jean-Marie Tritant, U.S. president of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “We have not made this decision lightly, and believe this is in the best interest of protecting our various stakeholders.

“We look forward to reopening these centers in the very near future. In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to make sure that ‘essential’ retail outlets remain accessible,” Tritant added.

Calls placed to a handful of restaurants in the malls area revealed they were open for delivery and takeout between their newly abbreviated hours.

Robert Monheim, a manager at Wokcano, said that their restaurant is generally open until 2 a.m., but since the pandemic first broke out, they’ve had to roll their hours back to 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and only for takeout and delivery.

“We’re dead,” said Monheim on Wednesday night. “We had to lay people off, but we didn’t want to. I have two cooks and a host and myself taking care of all the ‘to-go’s.’”

Monheim said that Wokcano, like possibly other other restaurants on the outside of the mall, will remain open throughout the Westfield closure.

Individual store hours had varied, but the mall hours had remained consistent until Wednesday.

The centers will be closed March 19-29 (or until otherwise instructed by local authorities), officials said.

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