When Woodfield Mall opened on September 9, 1971, the unlikely duo of actors Carol Lawrence and Vincent Price were on hand for the celebration.  In addition to his grand opening duties, Mr. Price, by special arrangement, conducted hourly talks in the carpeting department of Sears on the subjects of art, gourmet cooking and home decorating.  Being quite the connoisseur, he brought with him a selection of paintings from the Vincent Price Gallery of Fine Arts.

The mall was over 2,000,000 square feet and had 160 stores when it was completed. The three anchor stores were Sears, Roebuck and Co., Marshall Field and Company, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. The mall was named for General Wood, chairman of the Sears board at the time, and Marshall Field of Marshall Field and Co. When the doors opened, and for a number of years afterwards, the mall was the world’s largest indoor shopping center.

Some of the first stores mentioned in early articles on the mall were the Plum Tree (novelty shop), Fanny May, Mirette (what was this?) Musicland (record chain), Bressler’s 33 Flavors, Peck & Peck (women’s specialty shop), Paddor’s (fashion store) and Madigans (another women’s clothing store.)

Do you remember any other early Woodfield Mall stores?  Were you there on opening day?  What made Woodfield Mall so special to you when you first saw it?  Let us know!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


  1. I have a memory of early Woodfield Mall featuring an aquarium or fish tanks you could walk past (maybe with port-hole type viewing windows?). My family thinks I am nuts … am I?

    1. You are not nuts at all. The aquarium/fish tanks were right on the south end of Central Court. There were a series of ramps that took you past a fountain to a lower level underneath the Court. A small hallway ran near the 2 or 3 fish tanks. Our kids loved that whole area when they were young.

  2. I remember the skating rink. The Alley “head shop”, etc. Vincent Price was a family friend of my parents and I remember him stopping by the house when Woodfield opened.

  3. Like Jon, I too remember the skating rink. We used to go to John’s Garage to eat and I always wanted to sit by the viewing windows. The Schaumburg Kings youth hockey played there too. The Alley still exists but is in the city now and still have those annoying and loud radio commercials..lol.
    The walk-thru fountain was very neat as a kid. My best memory was when they let you climb that large art work/structure in front of the entrance to JC Penny. At least nobody would stop you from trying. The stairs that had the slide over by where the A&W Root Beer was. I also had an after High School job at a place called Fan Fair. Man I remember how busy we were the year the Bears went to the Super Bowl. I used to love going next door to Roy Rodgers for my lunch break on Saturdays.

    1. Back when the slide was there it wasn’t A&W, but some children’s clothing store. I remember because I’d play on the slide while my mom shopped for my little brother.

      1. Wasn’t the metal slide added later? I think it was just a brick incline at first that kids naturally used as a slide.

    2. Anyone have interior shots of Woodfield in the 80s? I’m looking for the wonder that was Madigans Jr with the 2 story tall minimal giant mannequin inside. I used to work at Le Chateau (Hawthorne) but that store always amazed me. I loved THE COOLEST STORE ARCADIA. I love to still go to Woodfiled today. The mall should open a museum with cool past pics. ❤️❤️ Btw AWESOME about Vincent Price!

      1. Arcadia was the shit! I used to go to the one in Yorktown Mall. I bought like every crazy pen they had and i loved all the neon. I havent seen anyone mention that store, so im glad i didnt imagine it. I even went to the Swatch Watch world tour back in 86 or 87 and got my pic w Dweezil Zappa and his autograph. Good times back then.

  4. Ahh, the good old days of early Woodfield – As a kid growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, this was the place to be. Still is, I’m sure, but I remember all of the quirks that are now gone that previous posters have mentioned – The lower-level tunnel that took you past the fish tanks with portholes to look at the exotic fish swimming by, the huge fountain in center court (I can’t tell you how many “lucky pennies” I tossed into that thing as a kid!), the big orange sculpture that kids would always climb on in front of JC Penney’s, and I also remember a children’s clothing store that my mother used to drag me into that had a big orange slide in it – I don’t remember what store this was or if it’s still even in business (it’s not at the mall anymore) but I remember going down that slide while my mom waited in line :).

    Those were also the “good old days” when they had really cool stores too – Ones that aren’t around at all anymore, like 5-7-9, Merry Go Round, the Warner Brothers store, Sharper Image, etc. When the Disney Store first opened at Woodfield, it was a combination store AND restaurant in the back – I had a birthday party there. I don’t think the restaurant part of it lasted very long though before it was changed over into an all-retail establishment. I also remember being young and, as an avid reader, so excited because there were THREE bookstores at one point in the mall – Now I don’t think there is even one 😦 – But Borders and Barnes & Noble are both in close proximity to the mall area.

    I could go on and on with memories and even go into old One Schaumburg Place across the street (now Streets of Woodfield), but my comment will turn into an essay – Glad to see other people remember and cherish these things too!

    1. YES!! I thought I was going crazy about the children’s store slide! There was also a big huge circle cut out at the front of the store that I would always lay in…I am so glad someone else remembers that!!

      I also very fondly remember the fish tanks 🙂

    2. The Orange Sculpture in the lower level JC Penney Wing is still there!! Brings back childhood memories every time I see it. I also miss the old Osco Store that is occupied by the mini golf course in the lower level by JCP. I remember 1995 when Woodfield had three book stores: Crown Books by Sears, Double Day books close to where the Verizon store is now, and Walden books, which was by Nordstrom when it first opened.

    1. and the ultimate thing to do at the Ice Cream Parlour was to celebrate your birthday with your friends & order the ZOO!! I also worked at the County Seat for a time. I was only 13 when it first opened and it was like a whole new world–finally somewhere to “hang out” with friends!

  5. Farrels is staging a comeback in California.
    The “old” Woodfield was awesome. I was back in town and walked through a couple of years ago – not worth going to. Mostly clothing and etc. No sporting good stores, no general merchandise (Kreske’s), no pet store, etc.

    Does anyone know why Mars 2112 closed? When my kid was a toddler he insisted he had a brother “on mars”. I did the long trip to the place to let him have a good time. Showed my wife where I grew up, etc.

    My parents moved to Schaumburg when Higgins was two lanes dirt to get to our house. They moved to NY in the late 1970’s. When Dad was on a promotional tour for the Temple Lippizans, maybe 20 years ago I took him and my mother to see what Schaumburg had turned into. They declared it “too crowded” and they would never consider living there again.

    1. Mars 2112 opened in October 2000 in the former space occupied by the Plitt Movie Theatre at Woodfield Mall. It lasted a little over a year after closing at the beginning of November 2001. It was never disclosed what the reasons were for its demise. The Daily Herald reported on it when it did close but they couldn’t get any answers either.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  6. John’s Garage Restaurant was classic. I would drive my mom to the mall in the mid ’70’s and we always ate there.
    My friends and I would go to the Submarine Restaurant for great hotdogs. And don’t forget Hot Sam’s for a giant pretzel covered with ham and cheese.

  7. Does anyone remember all of the restaurants that were originally along Golf Rd by Woodfield? I can remember the Rusty Scupper but there were a couple more that I can’t remember.

    1. Hi Roger, was the Rusty Scupper closer to Yaohan Plaza (Mitsuwa Plaza) in Arlington Heights on Golf Rd? I know that particular location has changed hands a few times, some restaurants better than others. I do remember there was a Sizzlers and Red Lobster on the south drive of the mall towards Higgins…I think there used to be a restaurant with train cars also in that location – forgot the name though. I also remember Studebakers was by the DMV on Golf rd.

      1. Tim,

        Actually, I think it was the Rusty Pelican that was in Arlington Heights and the Rusty Scupper was in Schaumburg on the outskirts of the Woodfield property at Rte 53 and Golf Road.

        And you’re right about Sizzlers and Red Lobster being on Mall Drive which leads to Higgins. The train restaurant was Victoria’s Station. Studebaker’s was quite the rocking place too, wasn’t it?

        Thank you for weighing in!

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

      2. There also was a restaurant on golf road near the mall called Mondays. My wife waitresses there in the late 70’s.

  8. i remember they had a pet store there. i used to like seeing the animals. and they had a musical instument store and one of the employees would play an organ right by the store opening so everyone walking by would hear and see him. we never shopped at lord & taylor cuz it was always the “expensive” store.

    1. I’ve been trying to recall the name of the pet store, as my father took me there many many times for tropical fish. I loved that place. My dad didn’t mind the pet store be he mostly came for the book stores. I don’t think I saw even one of those when we visited a couple days ago. [Walking down the wing that now holds The Cheescake Factory, and I’m almost certain the pet store was on the north end by the doors where TCF is now.]

      1. Hello Carrie,

        Could the pet store be either Noah’s Ark or Pet World? Those are the two I have in my list of Woodfield stores.

        If not, I can do a little more searching.

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

  9. Remember an accessory store called Passing Fancy? There was a slide outside of a store that got you from the middle level to the lower level. I spend most of my high school years there. Fabrini’s Florist? Loved the Alley too!

  10. Does anyone remember a restaurant/pie shop called Bumbleberry? I think it was on the upper level near Penneys.

    1. Yes!!! I remember this well, and it was near where the Cheesecake Factory is now (right outside Penneys). They had great pies too!

  11. Some stores I remember from late ’72 thru the middle of ’74. Holland Jewelers, Shirt Tales, Silvermans, 5 7 9 Shops, Roy Rogers, Klien’s Sporting Goods, Orange Julius, The County Seat,

  12. the magic pan crepe restaurant, and when banana republic first opened it looked like a safari outpost and sold those animal tshirts

  13. I worked at 5-7-9 from 1974 – 1977, on the Lord&Taylor wing….fancy side of the Mall then. I miss all the old stores, including Alroe (remember they used to do the windows in all the same colors), John T. Shane, Madigans Juniors, Merry-Go-Round, Furrreal and On-Stage (which looked like the backstage of a theater). I also ice-skated at the indoor rink, and spent many dinners at John’s Garage watching skaters there. Farrell’s was the ‘go to’ place for everyone’s birthday. The Magic Pan had wonderful crepes. What about Slicer’s sandwiches??? Subway can’t hold a candle to that one! I remember it all like yesterday, and can probably list all the stores, in order, on most of the floors!


    1. Hi Diana,

      I don’t know if you’re up for it, but I’d love to have a list of the stores that were at the mall during that time period. The library does not have a phone book from that time so there is no way to put together a list except through people like you with a strong memory of that time. I would love to put it together as a blog posting. We could do it by wing and then floor. It would be a great addition to our history. Think about it and let me know!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  14. I remember the Golden Dolphin, a bath shop, was located on the upper level next to Penny’s. The Cheesecake Factory sign is located on the wall where the store once stood.

    Puppy Palace was located on the lower level entrance across from where Stir Crazy is now. Kresges was on the upper level by Sears. I believe Walden Books was an original store as well.

  15. I cut school on opening day, it was so huge to us back then. I loved Farrell’s, the underground fish tanks, all the ramps and stairs. It was such a fun place to hang out for us teenagers.

  16. Does anyone remember the name of the store in Woodfield that used to sell Thomas Kinkade paintings and Native American art? On the walls at the very top, they had bull/steer skulls that were painted (think it was actually a print) by a Native American artist. I can make out the signature on the bottom but tried searching for the name and no luck. B A Edi is the signature. I could be reading it wrong. I used to have Native American decor in my home and back then, my husband bought me one of those skulls (it’s huge too!) and now I want to sell it. Not sure what it’s worth though. I remember going back to that store when they were closing–but darn if I can remember the name! 😦 How can I get a directory of stores that closed down in this mall? Or maybe by chance someone remembers the name of the store???

    John’s Garage was the best! They had great buffalo wings! 🙂

    1. Hello,

      I looked in a 1997 phone book for the Northwest Suburbs under “Art Galleries” and there is a Thomas Kinkade Gallery listed at 309 Woodfield Mall. I presume this is the one you are referring to?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  17. I stumbled across your site while attempting to find a list of “specialty store” that opened at Woodfield Mall. My ‘ole memory isn’t what it used to be … I worked at a clothing store [for women] designed more for youth – jeans, funky trendy styles. It wasn’t a big chain like Merry Go Round – but similar. I remember it being upstairs – I can picture it but can’t, for the life of me, recall the name. It was my first retail job and I even became the Asst Mgr – it was a really significant period in my life but I can’t remember the name of the store!
    Any ideas?
    Thanks ;D
    email: imkimberly@email.com

    1. Hello Kimberly,

      Because we do not have any type of listing of Woodfield stores, I posed the question to the staff at our library. Many have lived in the area for years and might be able to help you. These are the following suggestions they returned to me:

      –Different Circle
      –Peck & Peck
      –Contempo Casual
      –Jean Nicole
      –Betty’s of Winnetka

      Please let me know if any of them ring a bell with you.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. Here are a few more stores:
        Bakers’s (shoe store)
        Maling’s (shoe store)
        Foyer’s (clothing)
        Lerner’s (clothing)
        The Black Forest (gifts)
        Stride Rite (children’s shoes)
        Page’s Jewelers
        Casual Corner (clothing)
        Tall Girl Shop (clothing)
        Lyon & Healy (music)
        Wicks & Sticks (candles & gifts)

      2. Thank you for this nice list! I appreciate it.

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

    2. I can’t remember the name either but I remember the store. I think it had another location, maybe in Old Town. They even had commercials on TV.

    1. Could it have been Hermann’s World of Sporting? One of our employees at the library said her father worked for the store and helped set it up.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  18. Another store was “Chicken Lips” that sold T-shirts. I think it was on the lower level by Sears. I worked at Silvermans at Woodfield when I was in high school. There was also Madigan’s for Men and J. Riggins, also mens.

  19. There were 2 slides at WoodField in the 1970’s. The first was a small one at “The Childrens Place”, which was a kids clothing store. There was a circle in the window you would crawl through and a small slide inside. BUT….There was a Huge Metal slide with wooden sides you could take (it had circle cut outs on top) that went from level 2 to level 1…it was a HUGE hit…but kids would climb up the bricks to get back up…very dangerous…some insurance person must have convinced them not to take the risk of having it anymore.
    I have pictures of this slide!!!

  20. OK…There was a restaurant my family always ate in, but I can’t remember if it was Woodfield or Yorktown. It had a water Mill wheel going around with water in it on the outside and called “The Miller’s…something or other”…can’t remember. Their specialty was hot dogs toasted inside a croissant type bun (like a Pretzel Dog), but the bread was really sticky to the dog..you almost couldn’t separate them. This was early to Mid-70’s.

  21. Oh my the memories are swirlling by now. My mom worked part time at 5-7-9 back in the mid 70’s. My sister and I would play on the slide all the time and loved eating at “The Submarine” restaurant. What was really cool was back in the late 80’s early 90’s WNUA were holding free Jazz concerts in the center of the mall. I seen David Benoit there and a few other great artist. I miss the old days of Woodfield. I sure hope the mall never closes. When I come back into Chicago I always go to Woodfield to hang out/shop. It brings back so many nostalgic good memories for me.

    1. Subway aint got nothin on “The Submarine” mid 70’s to early 80’s…that was a submarine sandwich with real italian deli meat and thinly sliced giant rings of onions with a big basket of fries….that was the bomb for sub sandwiches!

    1. I remember a Wimpy’s in downtown Chicago. My Mom would take me and my siblings on the train to the dentist every August. Afterwards we would go to Wimpy’s for a burger and milkshake. It was sometimes hard to eat with a numb mouth after the dentist but I remember it being good.

    2. I came to this website (7-26-16) to find something about Wimpy’s. I worked there for about 3 weeks in approximately 1972. I was 14. It was the only place that didn’t care how old you were to be hired.
      I had to wear an AWFUL stiff, polyester…grey uniform. I made 65 cents an hour, plus tips. Gee. Considering the average bill was two bucks, I’d clear about 5 bucks a night.
      Wimpy’s was open for at least an hour AFTER all the retail shops closed. That meant, you’d have to exit out into a pitch dark parking lot…after everyone had left the mall. It was a horrible job.
      I went back to babysitting.

  22. I’m trying to find out what happened to a store called, “i Naturals”. They sold skin care products and cosmetics and the letter “i” was in lower case and italics. I can’t find it any where online but I remember it was in the mall. They had a great smelling grapefruit or orange skin toner.

    1. Hello Delya,

      I looked into I Natural Cosmetics that was in Woodfield in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There is still a store in Greensboro, NC so I called them to see if the franchise still exists. According to the associate who answered the phone, the franchise went under about 15 years ago. I have another call into the American Franchisee Association. I am hoping they will provide me with a bit more information. If I hear anything, I’ll report back.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

    2. i naturals had the b st cosmetics. i did some research, a while back, and the company was from australia. they were putting out mineral makeup before any other company.

  23. I am such a history buff and love Woodfield. It would be cool, indeed if somewhat blogged the actual stores that were in Woodfield from the start.

    Sad that Woodfield, hasn’t been doing this since the start.

    If anyone already know of such a list, can they let me know.


    I used to ice skate, have lunch at John’s Garage – Farrell’s was a fun treat. I remember Paul Harris being on the slanted level. The aquariums were fun to walk through.

    1. I remember Beer and Brats right by Farrell’s ice cream parlor and does anyone remember Konees sit down eat place lower level by JC Penny’s ? Orange Bowl on the middle level Or Foxmoor clothing store for girls?

  24. Ok there was berman buck skins. Mark was the manager. Larry was the assistant And kip woked there as did. Billy. We also had a I madgigins for men

  25. I used to skate in the ice rink for many years.
    There was a clock store right at entrance to the skating rink. The hello kitty store was a few doors down from the rink, I think it was called Sanrio. Also I remember a Kroch’s and Brentanos book store. There was a Vie De France Restaurant all in this same wing by John’s Garage. So many great memories growing up in the 70’s & 80’s at Woodfield.

    1. Sanrio’s Giftgate was around the corner from John’s Garage, closer to the Grand Court, and directly across from Crate & Barrel. It’s now a MAC store. When Vie de France closed in 2006, it was truly a sad day. The lines for croissants used to go around the corner. And Kroch’s & Brentano’s was so big that it ran the entire length of the mall entrance all the way down to where Panda Express is now (behind the restaurant portion of Vie de France).

  26. I worked at the Woodfield Sears in high school. My mom worked at Madigans (for 20 years!). We used to meet for lunch at Roy Rogers on the middle level. I loved Madigans Juniors – Mom got a 20% discount! Madigans for Men had the most creative windows!
    Does anyone remember the store on the lower level next to the aquarium area that only sold women’s stockings? I think it was next to Plum Tree. We used to go there and buy opaques in every color.

    Loved the Submarine with a metal gangplank that looked like a sub inside. There was a restaurant called the Woodfield Inn and, of course, Farrell’s where we celebrated after jr. high graduation. Used to get slices of pizza at Orange Bowl.

    1. I quizzed our staff about the women’s stockings store and one of our employees said it was Albert’s Hosiery. Does that sound right to you?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

    2. There was a Parklane Hosiery store right outside of Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s–boo!) on the lower level that later turned into an Aca Joe clothing store. We got hosiery and leotards for dance and gymnastics there in the mid-80s. I seem to remember they offered a frequent shopper punchcard. It is now a Select Comfort store.

  27. Omg I was a big time mall rat ! I remember shopping at Ativo,Dj’s ,Chess King ,T Edwards ,Le Chateau which is a Canadian store that is still around . How can I forget Browns shoes based out of Canada . Browns was upstairs next to Nordstrom . I also remember working at Wild pair shoes downstairs near JC Penny . I also remember working at Cignal clothing store owned by Merry Go Round I loved buying my Z.Caverichy jeans and my I.O.U. , Bum Sweat shirts . So many stores came and went ! Glamor shots lol Nuts On Clark

    1. Thank you for this list Joe! I have an ongoing list of Woodfield stores and it’s nice to be able to add these. Can you clarify what types of stores Ativo and DJ’s were?

      Your assistance is certainly appreciated,

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

      1. I worked at a mens suit/clothing store called Club International in the 80’s. It was upper level possibly by Sears wing.

  28. Some stores that I can remember not in the mall but where close to it Rose records ,Tower records ,Silo ,Circuit City , Comp USA ,Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant ,Expo design ,Service Merchandise, Builders Square ,Bombay Co. ,Mc Dade & Co.

    1. I totally remember all those stores…used to work at the Jewel at Golf and Roselle through high school. Yu’s original location was actually in the corner of that strip mall. Also remember The Black Forest restaurant and the video arcade near it. And then there was the Derby Hat restaurant on the corner of Golf & Roselle, before it became a blockbuster. I remember when Zippy’s was just a little white take out only restaurant. In the same strip mall Zippys is in there used to be a Roller Rink and maybe you remember the ‘Roller Coaster’ part of the rink? The massive Chuck E. Cheese that was there too…with the upsidedown house and shadow room? I could go on for ages, ha!

      1. Hello Tim,

        I thought you might like to read the blog posting we did on the Fireside Roller Arena. You might also want to check out the photos of the Fireside that are on our Local History Digital Archive. Go here: http://archives.stdl.org/digitalarchive/digitalarchive.asp Look under Photos, then Places, then Businesses: Hoffman Estates. The Basich family who were co-owners were gracious enough to share their photos with us.

        If you don’t live in the area, you might be interested to know Zippy’s has been remodeled and is now the Beef Shack.

        Thank you for your comments–and memories. It’s always nice when our readers share!

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

  29. I can’t believe no one has mentioned International Park! This was the restaurant similar to what a food court is today. They had the Coney Island section which was hot dogs and cotton candy, a hamburger section, Chinese Food, American Food and an Italian section in the back. I worked there in the early 70’s.

    1. Hi Kassie,

      I’ve never heard of this restaurant. It obviously opened around the time Woodfield itself opened. Do you know how long they stayed in business at the mall? And where they were in the mall? Your details have helped!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

      1. Jane –
        I don’t remember when they closed, but they were owned by the same guy who owned The Alley and Luv Is. I believe they were there from the beginning. I started working there in 1973 or 74 and worked there for a year or two. They were on the lower level next to where the skating rink was. I believe it would be the space below McDonald’s.

        You corresponded with my mom yesterday and I’m working on a list of stores I remember from the beginning.

      2. I remember it well, I had some friends who worked there as well, I remember one of their faces, kinda foggy, but he was good looking with long hair….lol.

    2. Hi Cassie

      I stumbled upon this on my phone today. I also worked there from like 73-75 so did quite a few of my friends. We would start working in dishwashing and work our way up to being cooks.That place was a blast! So many good memories…

      1. Hi John: Is it possible we worked together? I remember a John and some friends that started as dishwashers. I really liked working there. Some good memories.

      2. Hi Cassie did you have pretty long kind of dark blonde hair? My friends first names were Bruce, Jim, Mark, Mike and a few others

      3. Hi John – My hair was kind of blonde. I think your last name begins with K and Jim’s last name begins with R. Am I right? I think I remember Bruce, but not the others. My friends were Sandy and Ranee.

  30. I worked at The Children’s Place in the mid/late 80’s. It was on the lower level next to JC Penney. There was an Osco drug store across from us-where the mini gold is currently. There was a high end toy store next to us-I want to say Gant Toys but I may be wrong. I’ll never forget the winter we were overrun with MICE! They were everywhere. in the racks, in the walls, the dressing rooms. Creepy! There was an awesome soup restaurant-Granny’s? They’s open for lunch and start out with about 6 types of soup and fresh baked bread. Sometime in the afternoon they’d be out of everything and just close. The best soup, but maybe not the best business model!

    1. The toy store was Galt Toys and had some really classic and hard to find items. Our next-door neighbor worked at The Children’s Place when they had the orange circle at the front of the store (it was carpeted), and my sister and I would always climb through to enter and exit the store. Then there was the actual play area in the middle of the store near the dressing rooms that had a slide. This was in the early ’80s, but Galt Toys didn’t appear until closer to the late ’80s/early ’90s.

    2. The name of the soup restaurant was Grandma’s Tureen. They had great bread and soup. I would go there on my lunch break while working at J.C. Penney’s back in the early 80s.

      1. Thank you for clarifying the soup restaurant mentioned by another Jane in an earlier comment. She said,
        “There was an awesome soup restaurant–Granny’s? They’d open for lunch and start out with about 6 types of soup and fresh baked bread. Sometime in the afternoon they’d be out of everything and just close.”

        Your answer of Grandma’s Tureen is very helpful.

        I appreciate it!

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian

  31. Of course we remember Farrell’s for ice cream and that siren they would blast for birthdays. I also remember the little fish display/aquarium in the middle of the mall. There were only 4 or 5 windows to look in and watch the fish, but it was so cool as a kid to go under the water display to see it. Also Chili Willy, the penguin statue, that would meet you at the indoor ice rink. A little later I also remember my mother dragging us kids (begrudgingly) into the Laura Ashley store on the upper level. Does anyone still remember when they used to build an entire house in the middle of the mall and then the stores had an opportunity to decorate the inside? We would all stand and wait to take a walking tour of this house. I think Woodfield only did it for 5 years or so…eh, could be wrong.

  32. My first job was working in the house that Pulte Homes built in the center of the Mall each year in the late 80’s. As a kid I loved Farrell’s, especially when someone was celebrating a birthday, and the stoplight in John’s Garage. My favorite store was Kaleidoscope, while my mom would drag me into the Singer sewing machine store. No one has yet to mention the Art Institute store that existed in the early-mid 90’s.

  33. I have some pictures of President Gerald Ford when he came to Woodfield in the mid 70’s. The place was packed. I also remember located downstairs was the huge scale model of Great America theme park that was being built as the same time. How about the cool European toy department upstairs in Marshall Fields? The candy department at Sears! I miss the old Woodfield theaters with their “Midnight Movies”. Anyone remember that little clock shop at the entrance to the ice rink? It had all the latest 70’s electronic gadgets.

    1. Hello Mike,

      Thank you so much for the comments. I would love to see the photos of President Ford’s visit to Woodfield. In fact, I’d really like to include them in a blog posting I’ll be doing on his visit in December. According to my research, he drew 50,000 on October 27, 1976. If you’re interested, you can contact me at jrozek@stdl.org.

      Also, this was the first I’d heard about the scale model of Great America being shown at Woodfield. That’s why these comments are so good. Hmmmm. Another good blog posting?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  34. I have been attempting to find a list of ALL stores originally opened at Woodfield mall in the 70’s! I can’t find this info ANYWHERE! Can you help?! I know initially there were 59 and then grew to 189,

    1. Hello Kimberly,

      I have begun a list of stores that have existed at Woodfield but I do not have any time frame or location within Woodfield assigned to them. I’ve contacted Woodfield Mall and was unsuccessful in my request. I’ve also been in contact with the University of Michigan who is the caretaker of the Alfred Taubman papers. His company developed the mall. The papers do not contain a list of original tenants. There are some contracts but not that many–as I understand it.

      I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful,

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

      1. Does anyone remember O’Connells Restaurant? I worked there for a couple of years at the mall . Under the stairway across from Musicland I believe.

      2. Of course I remember OConnells. I still know one of the previous owners of that place. And if my memory serves me correct, that owner was also partners with my Dad in another Woodfield restaurant, The Skewer. Remember that?

  35. Jane – I was putting together a list of stores that are not on your list. I already mentioned International Park . There was a store called Luv Is which sold stuffed animals (I believe). International Park, Luv Is and the Alley were all owned by the same guy. Also, there was a clothing store called Baskin that I think sold men and women’s clothes.

  36. Anybody know the name of the cool clothing store downstairs near Lord N Taylor – can’t remember what it was across from…near Aldo’s around 2009. They had the cool jean lines – 7 for all mankind, Citizens of Humanity, etc. They went out of business and then their business is now solely online and I can’t remember the name. Anyone?

    1. Hello Donna,

      The suggestions I have are:
      –Just Denim

      These are all stores that were at Woodfield. Denim is my number one suggestion because I called one of the current denim stores and talked to a manager. This was her recommendation. Maybe?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. Metropark used to be downstairs. I am now looking for a jewelry store – that used to appraise jewelry upstairs – by the old Lord N Taylor wing before the remodel. The jewelry store than moved to Barrington. Any ideas of the name?

      2. The Woodfield Mall jewelry store names I have are:
        Around The World
        Holland Jewelers
        O’Connor & Goldberg
        Page’s Jewelers
        Piccard Jewelry (a small family-owned store that moved to Algonquin Road in Hoffman Estates)
        Two Plus Two
        Whitehall Jewelers

        If one of these isn’t correct, maybe someone else knows?

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian

      3. Wasn’t there a fun jewelry store, lower level called Passing Fancy? I think it was replaced with the make up store MAC.

  37. I was just trying to remember Bumbleberry pie shop … even thought eBay might have one of their pie tins. Thank goodness for these postings. Bringing back loads of memories. My question: does anyone else remember what year John Travolta made an appearance? It had to be ’74 or ’75…and I got trampled under the throngs of screaming girls!

    1. Hello Karen,

      John Travolta appeared at Woodfield Mall on Thursday, May 6, 1976. So interesting that you were there! Did you go with friends? Where did you park? I’m sure the parking lot was just as much of a zoo as the mall itself!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. 1976? Wow. He had just been on Welcome Back Kotter a little over a year! My mom brought me, we parked close because we got there very early. That’s why I was right in front under the landing where he appeared…seriously, I got crushed on the floor by loads of screaming girls pressing to get closer. Lost my purse – that was more of a bummer than only getting to see him for a short bit!

        I was thinking you might be able to find a telephone directory through the Illinois Bell corporate folks in Chicago. My dad was a career Ma Bell employee & he took me to the museum downtown. Pretty sure they have all directories dating back to the early 20th century, even for the suburbs. Plus some of the libraries might have them on microfiche. Yup, dating myself again!

        Thanks for getting back to me. Crazy times at Woodfield Mall!

  38. Florshiem (men) and Thayer McNeil 9women) were two original tenants. There was a pet store at the JC penny’s end. There was also a restaurant down by the Penny’s end that was finished and open during construction where all the workers could eat. Fast food during construction and sit down after mall opened. How did that happen?????

    1. Was the name of the pet store, Pet World?

      Very interesting comment about the restaurant being open during the construction. It must have been amazing to be in the mall during construction of such a huge building–especially for the times!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

    1. Hello BJT,

      I’m trying to figure out your comments. I think you’re saying that there was a barbershop, leather jacket store and shoe repair shop in Woodfield when it first opened? I’m not quite sure what “Kingsmen” is in reference to. Do I have this right?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  39. Hello Jane, the kingsmen barber shop. I believe that was the name of that barber shop. I believe that it later moved to Town Square.

    Yes there was a leather store and shoe repair in the area where subway is and liberty travel, nail perfection (current map). It was fun being in there.

  40. I just found this blog and I have a lot of answers to a lot of questions about Woodfield. I also have a few mall directories from different years. My mom had a toy store there starting in 1976 called Noahs Ark (not the pet store, the pet store was years later.) there was a Franks Nursery directly across from us ~ possibly turning into Lee Wards. Next time I visit my mom I will pull out all of our memorabilia and scan sbd upload whatever I can. I have a photographic memory so I may be able to help with lists and locations for years I don’t have directory for ~

    1. Oh Janine, that would be wonderful! Please keep the library in mind. I get a number of questions periodically on Woodfield Mall and the directories would be so nice to have–and the earlier the better!

      I look forward to what you can provide.


      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. I will provide anything I can to the library ~ I grew up in Schaumburg and actually moved there in 77 because of my moms store at woodfield ~ people thought we we crazy moving to “the boondocks”. I have actually been entertaining the idea of writing a book about growing up in the 70’s -90’s in our area as I have a passion for nostalgia and history ~ (and I am a writer) Planning on going to my moms this upcoming weekend so I will start digging thru all of my memorabilia ~
        Have a great evening !

  41. There was a high-end department (Nordstroms?) store that had a soup/snack bar inthe lower level (late 70’s ish). They had the most amazing Scotch Broth soup, cheddar biscuits and frozen yogurt. They had yummy toppings to go on the yogurt…my favorite was strawberry sauce with coconut. Delish!

    1. Hello Marijane,

      I posed this question to a couple of our staff members who have both lived in the area for a long time and are frequent visitors to Woodfield. One of them said Lord & Taylor had a snack bar/yogurt bar back in the 1970s. Does that sound right to you?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. Yes! I knew it was a better department store but couldn’t remember which. I had totally forgotten Lord & Taylor! Thank you so much. Now I can “rest easy!”

      2. I googled Lord & Taylor scotch broth and several recipes popped up. Thanks again. Now I will be able to make it for myself!

    2. The Soup Bar at Lord & Taylor! It was hidden in the back of the store near men’s shoes. They had the best cheese biscuits (before Red Lobster), and I still remember the lunch counter where we sat on red vinyl barstools (you could spin them around, and my sister and I did as kids)! I even remember the script “The Soup Bar” on the marble matching the “Lord & Taylor” script on the walls to the mall entrance.

    3. Oh yes! Several of us who worked at the Union 76 HQ across Golf Road would go to the Lord & Taylors Soup Bar for lunch and have the cheese biscuits and yogurt! I still get a taste for their tart yogurt. If anyone knows where it can be found, please let me know! Woodfield was THE place to go.

  42. Stuart’s – lady’s/jr’s clothing store right across from Lerner’s
    Kresge’s – loved sitting in the restaurant waiting for mom to finish shopping
    Benetton – sweater shop (United colors of Benetton) – $$$
    Ganto’s – high end clothing – good for prom dresses.

    There was a pizza place that was near the center of the mall, on the lowest level possible – think A & W went in there later, but I remember many a time eating out at that pizza place.

    There was also a shoe repair shop that I used a few times.

    1. Geez Louise, I can’t believe how far I had to read through this discussion before someone finally mentioned Gantos! I can still see myself sitting there while my mom tried on dresses.

  43. My sister worked at Disc records,and the mall (this was in ’71) decided to have a “kissing ” marathon in the main quad area,the record store brought Kiss,yes the rock band,to the mall to promote the Marathon,this was before their first album was released,no one knew who these painted up,leather clad dudes were.Got to meet the band and even had lunch with them.I also played hockey for the Schaumburg Kings,and we would skate at the rink there every Friday night and ultimately end up at Farrels.Great memories of that mall.

    1. Well I certainly had never heard this story before. I might have to do a blog posting based on this if I can track down some more details. Woodfield was brimming with famous people in its early days! Thank you for the comments.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. My best friend and I were at Woodfield Mall’s grand opening and remember Kiss performing. We had no idea who they were.

      2. Kiss did appear at the Mall I remember thinking the makeup was a bit much . They where in the main court yard.

  44. I worked at Woodfield when Kiss was there. I remember our restaurant supplied the water, etc. for the contestants. The contest was to see who could kiss the longest, but they did get breaks throughout the day. I had never heard of Kiss either before that day!

  45. I remember things but not names, I was born 1973, in Hoffman Estates, Parcel B, went to Fairview. Anyway, I remember going there as a kid for Donuts, and my Dad would get his shoes shined. And I miss the waterfall with fish tanks. I remember MacGuyver visiting along with Lego as a showcase in the center. My brother worked at One-Potato-Two, and artworx, and I miss the Britches store where I could custom alter suits. I failed to read all the comments but have you listed the ice rink and the outdoor movie theater?

    1. Hello Richard,

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, the ice rink was mentioned (in a much beloved way) many times. And, in fact, I wrote a blog posting on the theaters of Schaumburg Township. You can read it here: https://ourlocalhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/goin-to-the-movies-in-schaumburg-township/

      I had never heard about the visit from Richard Dean Anderson who played MacGyver. Wow! It’s amazing how many famous people visited the mall for various programs. Look for some writeups soon on those who did. He’s certainly one to add to my list.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  46. I worked for a mens clothing/suit store in the 80’s and it was called Club International. I believe it was upper level on Sears wing. I did also work for Jordan Marie which was a baby store lower level right in front of Lord and Taylor.

    1. Thank you Tricia. These are two stores I had not accounted for. I appreciate your input!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  47. If it’s not on your list already, I used to work at “Sir Timothy of Woodfield”, a tobacco/cigar/gift shop, back in the early 90s. It was located on the lower level near JC Penney. The owner also owned two other locations (one in Randhurst mall named “Sir Richard of Randhurst” and another at a mall in the southwest suburbs whose exact name and location I don’t recall…). We had a walk-in humidor that smelled wonderful, if you like the smell of fresh cigars. We also sold Dept. 56 Christmas items and Hummel figurines. One of the few shops in the mall where smoking was allowed 😉

    1. Hello Andy,

      Thank you for your inclusion to the list. No one else had mentioned it so I was happy to add it. I remembered the store immediately–largely because of the humidor and the Hummels. I seem to recall a tall statue of an Indian or a soldier or some other figure near the entrance. Do I have that right?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. You’re welcome. The statue was definitely in front of a different store. Never had one at Sir Timothy. I believe there was another tobacco shop at the other side of the mall, so it might have been in front of that one. I’m trying to recall the name of it… let me ask around.

      2. There also was a smoke shop called the Tinder Box in the early 70’s
        I also remember another jewelry store from the early 70’s called the Jewel Box. It was on the upper level at Fields.

        Also, I haven’t read anything on the high end women’s shoe salon that opened in 1971 . Name was I.Miller Shoes. Mid level next to Fields. I believe it is now Ann Taylor but could be something else now. I opened that store. It lasted about 5 years.

      3. Thank you for the additions to this long list. I have added the info on I.Miller Shoes to my ongoing list of Woodfield Mall stores as well as JB Robinson Jewelry which had not been noted before. I appreciate the information!

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

  48. My father was an organist who used to work for Thomas organs. He performed at Woodfield either as part of the opening day festivities, or very close to them, and I think he went back from time to time to play up the organ shop someone else mentioned in another comment. I’ll have to look for the newspaper article – I’ve still got it somewhere!

    I first fell in love with Woodfield when I spotted the Sanrio Gift Gate (otherwise known as “the Hello Kitty store.” I think I was about 7 years old the first time I went in there. I remember its original location was very close to John’s Garage. It was an amazing shop back then, and the first Sanrio store in the midwest. I think I remember it moving at least twice (I worked there during two different phases of my life, both of them years apart from each other). Ownership definitely changed somewhere along the way, along with the store’s name (just…”Sanrio” now. Bleh.). It’s now owned by a company called Nakajima, and nowhere near as cool as it was when it was managed directly by Sanrio.

    Great memories! I LOVE this blog, and hope to have the opportunity to comment with more memories of Schaumburg of the 80s! 🙂

    1. Neko,

      These are marvelous memories of Woodfield. If your father has any photos of his first day at Woodfield–or any days at Woodfield when he played the organ–I’d love to add them to our Local History Digital Archive on the library’s website. A photo like that would be really unique!

      Glad you like the blog because I love doing it! It’s nice to provide a few more details of the places, people and events that readers remember.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  49. I remember the two-level Arbys, a Greek restaurant called Olga’s, a store called Units, that sold coordinating women’s knit outfit pieces in different colors and you wear them with a belt, which could also be a tube top or mini skirt. In about 1990, I worked at Skolnik’s Bagel Bakery.

    1. Lisa,

      I appreciate these mentions of restaurants and stores of Woodfield since they had not been noted before. Thank you! I certainly remember the Units store. Was it on the second floor?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. Yes, I think Units was on the second floor, maybe where the Coach store is now? Or maybe on the middle level right below that?

    2. Units was the tenant after Passing Fancy, located at lower level Marshall Field’s. The current tenant is AT&T Mobility.

  50. Also, another memory just came back to me, I was 15 and wanted my long brown hair dyed bleach blond…I left with jet-black hair cut to my chin and a bill of over $85…In the early 90’s!! My mom was so mad!!!! My fond memory of Heidi’ s. It was on the middle level by Marshall Fields towards JC Penny .

  51. I remember quite a few restaurants and food specialty shops at Woodfield during the 1980s and 1990s (and a few more recently). Here is a partial list of some that may not have been mentioned:

    • Leeann Chin’s
    • Boudin Sourdough Bakery
    • Taste of Baker’s Square
    • Lucky’s Diner (servers on skates!)
    • O’Connell’s (small, narrow casual family dining restaurant on the lower level under the staircase, where Spencer Gifts is now)
    • Spinnaker’s (California-themed restaurant that served honey bread in a flower pot)
    • Ruby Tuesday
    • Cookie Factory Bakery (mini butter cookies!)
    • Restaurant at Marshall Fields (various names): Seven Arches, Greener Fields, Store Restaurant
    • T.J. Cinnamons (precursor to Cinnabon)
    • Kirby’s (or maybe Kerby’s) Koney Island (they had delicious grilled cheese sandwiches!)
    • California Café
    • Mrs. Fields
    • Yogen Früz
    • Long Grove Confectionery
    • Todai
    • Mickey’s Kitchen (one of two test restaurants in the country, housed inside the former Disney Store from May 1991 to about March or April 1992)
    • Vinny’s (now Red Robin)

    Of course, this does not include the restaurants on the perimeter of WF or on what my family called Restaurant Row (a.k.a. Mall Drive):

    • Rusty Scupper (now Olive Garden)
    • Houlihan’s
    • Mondays, then Tuesdays, H.M.S. Boston, and ItaliAnni’s (now TGI Fridays—the irony!)
    • Cork ‘N Cleaver
    • Victoria’s Station (then a burger place called Bonkers!), now Mario Tricoci
    • El Torito, Voodoo Nightclub
    • Sizzler
    • Red Losbter, Smokey Bones, Vidalia

    Former stores:

    • Happi Names (now Bath & Body Works), where you could have knickknacks personalized with paint pens
    • Erehwon Mountain Outfitter
    • Passing Fancy
    • Carlton Cards
    • WTTW Store of Knowledge
    • Warner Brothers Studio Store
    • Successories
    • Laura Ashley/Laura Ashley Mother & Child
    • Ashby’s
    • Gift Horse
    • Creative Playthings
    • Heidi Salon
    • Suncoast Video
    • Dara Michelle, Topkapi
    • Woolworth
    • Sam Goody
    • Babbage’s
    • Pam’s Young Folks
    • Thom McAn
    • Galt Toys
    • Noah’s Ark Pet Store (even had a fishbowl in the mall vestibule)
    • Musicland
    • Wurlitzer (the organ store)
    • I. Miller
    • Puppy Palace
    • Maternity Modes
    • Granny’s Donuts
    • Jarman Shoes
    • Shirt Tales
    • Pulte Homes
    • Natural Wonders
    • Hickory Farms

    1. Jennifer, I can tell you are a food-lover as am I. My best memories are food related! I remember fondly, most of the restaurants at Woodfield in those days!

    2. Jennifer,

      This is a wonderful list! (I remember that Disney store restaurant. I believe it was at the back of the store and was kind of a diner/counter setup. Do I have that correct?)

      Thank you for all of your hard work and diligence in compiling and grouping the stores. Assistance like this makes my job easier. It is much appreciated.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. My list is nowhere near complete! It is based on my growing up in the area after my family moved to Hoffman Estates from Park Ridge in 1978. I know that there are several stores/restaurants/tenants missing from the list (I know I forgot Evan’s Furs at upper level Lord & Taylor, Just Furs, and Mario Tricoci when it was in the mall). I’m sure the list could at least triple in size if every tenant from every year since Woodfield’s opening were to be included!

        In response to the Mickey’s Kitchen comment, I found a great photo online that shows the former Disney Store mall entryway layout (when it was located near upper level Sears). This image is NOT from the Woodfield Disney Store; it is from the Montclair, CA location, which was the only other location in the country to house a Mickey’s Kitchen test restaurant. The layout virtually mirrors the former Woodfield store. (Credit: http://fromscreentotheme.com/SundayBrunchMickeysKitchen.aspx, image courtesy of Loren Javier.)

        Jane, you are correct that the restaurant was located in the back of the store. The counter where you ordered and picked up your meals was at the back, which eventually was replaced with a large video screen that played movies and a stuffed animal bin. However, the actual dining area was to the right as soon as you entered the store, right behind the display window (behind the window with Minnie, Pluto, and Donald in this photo). You went up a few steps to booths and tables that spanned the length of the store.

        My youngest sister actually had her 4th birthday party at the Woodfield Mickey’s Kitchen in December 1991. She was probably one of the few lucky children to experience Mickey’s Kitchen during its brief history. (We still have memorabilia, such as the cookie boxes, from MK!) I wish places like Mickey’s Kitchen and—of course!—Farrell’s still existed now as I know my daughters would have loved those restaurants.

    1. I have a listing for a Junior Hot Shoppe Snack Bar. Is this the Junior’s you are referring to? Is anyone else familiar with this restaurant?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  52. does anyone remember name of store that sold silk plants and home decor? I’m also not sure if there maybe was a Just Pants or Just Jeans there too? I remember thinking how clever the Submarine restaurant was at the time. Now it would seem quaint!

  53. Does anyone remember a store that sold blown glass? You could watch them making the glass too. I believe it was in the 70’s.

    1. Hello Kassie,

      I did a bit of research and found a store that opened in the summer of 1973 called “The Glass Blower Shop.” They carried “miniature hand blown glass item pieces including birds, bird cages, planes and wishing wells.”

      Does this sound like the store you’re thinking of?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  54. I’m not sure if anyone else posted this store, but there was a men’s clothing store called Oak Tree. I believe it had the same corporate owner as J. Riggings and Merry Go Round, Chess King and Silvermans. I think there was also a Hickory Farms store on the lower level by Sears back in the mid-70s.

    1. The restaurant was actually called International Cafe. Chef Joe Troccoli was in charge of the kitchen.
      Owned by Don Linn. I worked there in early seventies as well. I have several photos of the fun times there.
      Don Linn also owned Rags to Riches which was near the Alley. It had a sleigh in the window with lovely dresses draped over it.

      1. Peggy – I also worked at International Park in the 70’s. I’d love to see pictures. What years did you work there?

      2. Hi Peggy,

        Thank you for the information that you’ve put out there. Every little bit that is filled in adds to our area’s local history narrative. If it’s possible for you to send photos of the International Cafe, I’d be happy to do a blog posting centered around them. My email address is jrozek@stdl.org

        Thank you for your efforts and consideration,

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

  55. For the Farrell’s fan:

    Farrell’s features fabulous foods and fantastic fountain fantasies for frolicking, fun-filled, festive familes

    If you could recite that, you got to pick a red or black licorice rope!

    1. Wow! That line is gonna stick with me all day…great memory. Awhile back I found a close up photo of the Pig Trough. Thought that was a trick to get through. Now you’ve given us something else to add to the collection of lovely reminiscences. Thank you Peggy!

  56. I had a birthday at Farrell’s when I was 10 and almost fell over trying to hold up the zoo!I also remember “the orange bowl”very cheap pizza by the slice,the ice skating rink with the really cool jewelry store next to it”around the world”I think it was called,also “two by two”a costume jewelry store below county seat and a place where my sister’s friend worked “olga’s kitchen”best garlic fries and homemade lemonade!There was also another neat store kinda like “plumtree”but I can’t remember the name..The Alley had a grab bag for 1 or two dollars. I have great memories growing up there in the 80’s.I was there every weekend!

    1. Dee,

      Thank you for sharing your memories. I had not heard of “Around the World” or “Two By Two.” And, you were almost there on “plumtree.” It was called “The Plum Tree” and was a novelty store/gift shop that was there from 1971 to 1986. Glad you commented!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. I’m sorry it was “two plus two” there was also another store similar to “The plum tree” I wish I could remember what it was.It brought back a lot of memories reading everyones comments, and I had just gone there today to meet up with my bf from back then,we hadn’t been there together since we were roughly 16! It’s changed so much,but there is still some old left 😉 We had a good time.

  57. Farrell’s, as a small kid the noise from the big drum made me hold my hands on my ears

    Sanrio Gift Gate, the only place you could get Hello Kitty anything

    Madigans, as a pre-teen I could not wait to shop there

    Kroch’s and Brentanos, sitting in the kid’s book section waiting for my mother as she loves books

    Lord and Taylor, the pink carpet

    John’s Garage, watching the ice skaters and the crazy salad bar

    Vie de France, where I lost my first baby tooth by biting into a sandwich made from crusty sourdough loaf

    Marshall Fields, my mom bought me Swedish fish from the candy counter when you first walked in from the outer doors, Esprit kids department for back to school clothes, lusting after the Louis Vuitton cases, and my first Gucci purse in 8th grade from the after Christmas sale bin

    Benetton, it was a tiny store upstairs, my mom bought me a $100 outfit: sweater and sweater leggings and the rich lady with her 2 daughters ahead of us in line had a $900 bill and she said “Daddy’s going to have a cat when he sees this bill”

    1. Hello Melissa,

      All great comments! Farrell’s is before my time and I’m unfamiliar with the drum. What was the significance of the drum? And, wow, I forgot about the pink carpet in Lord & Taylor. What a unique choice for that store. Thank you for adding to the collective memories of Woodfield.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  58. Oh wow, just wandered in here while researching my past places of employment. Worked at Madigan’s from it’s opening at Woodfield to a couple years later. Mrs. West was our manager. Good times. I remember so many of the stores mentioned. One standout memory was when Ginger Rogers came to Penny’s. I think she was representing hosiery…?

    1. Rose, my mother, Marian Ruble worked at Madigan’s as well for nearly 20 years until one day when the employees came to work on a regular day and found a note on the glass door that they had gone out of business! I loved all of the Madigan’s stores as we received the 20% employee discount at each one. Madigan’s for Men had the most creative window displays.

  59. I worked at Submarine from 76-79 when I was in HS. Dorothy was the owner’s cousin or aunt. It was downstairs in the JCPenney wing just inside the entrance. During the Christmas shopping season we would have many a lines out the door. Osco was across the hallway from us.

    I also worked at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour during this time frame. What a hoot!

    1. You would look up and all of a sudden the line would be well out the door….for HOURS! Dorothy was our rock. LOL who knew where Ed ever was

  60. Does anyone remember a guys clothing store on the first level near the center court, darkly lit, zippered clothes everywhere (kinda pricy for being so trendy) borderline Goth in the mid to late 80’s? I think it had Street in the name…

    1. Hello Tina,

      One of the blog readers thought that the store might have been Merry-Go-Round. Does that sound right and/or familiar?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  61. I’ve been looking for a store I used to go to as a child for b day parties. It was for little girls, it was around the high 90’s. They used to do your hair and glitter everywhere! Then you’d pick out certain make up you wanted. Anyone remember?

  62. Does anyone remember “Shaun Gayle’s Become a Star Recording Studio?” It was one of those trendy places where you could record your vocals over a music track. It was located on the lower level near JC Penney in the very small former Hot Sam (pretzel) location. There was a Shoe Repair shop and a Tailor in the same wing.

  63. I too remember working at Frank Jewlers (my first job in 1977) and at J.B. Robinson jewelers after that. I liked the organ music that emulated through the mall.I also used to ice skate behind John’s Garage. My name is Cherie Lea Hartman.

  64. I remember working at Sears in the mid 70’s. We came out to “The Grand Court” for a break, and there were dozens of couples kissing scattered all over for a Kiss Band promotional contest . I think the longest uninterrupted kiss by a couple could win a VINYL! Kiss album.

  65. there was also a JoAnn Fabrics store that I bought the fabric and then model the dress I made, still have the photo from the newspaper. I have lots of memories of hanging out in the center court on the steps on Saturdays in the early to mid 70s.

  66. I remember cutting school because John Travolta was going to be there. He stayed for about 5 minute before some girl jumps up and try to pull him down off the little pedestal they put him on he then ran into Mary go round and his people got him out of there. this is one welcomebackkotter just started

  67. My mom was the glassblower at The Glassblower Shop. It was right next to The Alley. We would go to work with my mom on the weekends and hangout. She wouldn’t let us go next door, but we always found a way.
    I remember the Kiss-a-thon. Gene Simmons scarred my mom while in full costume. she almost burned herself on her torch!
    Also a local radio station interviewed a guy in the contest (during a break). His wife heard it on the radio and she came storming to the mall causing a scene! The event is chronicled in one of the biography books about Kiss.

    1. These are great personal tidbits that only those who were there can tell. Thank you John for adding a couple of nice touches to the blog posting.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. I worked at McDonald’s in the late 70’s and was a “game piece” on a lifesize monopoly board in the center court, and also saw President Ford at Woodfield while in high school. Great memories!

  68. These posts bring back so many memories. I recently took a walk around the mall to see what it looked like now. I had not been in there for at least 7-8 years. It sure has changed since I started working there in the 70s. Back then Sears and Pennys were the big draws and both are struggling to stay in business now. My wife and I both worked at Woodfield and in the offices around it for many years during high school and after. I worked at magic pan (loved the food) woodfield theaters, and marshall fields. I used to work at the car wash right under the funky painted water tower…. man that has been gone for a long time ! My wife worked at Madigans, JC Pennys, and Citicorp. We used to hang out at the ice rink and later the theater, Johns Garage, Submarine, Grandmas Taureen, Hot Sams, dining at Marshall Fields, etc. For some reason I am thinking that McDonalds was at a different location in the mall from where is it now. There used to be a map store in the mall by Fields that had some cool stuff. If I remember correctly there was a travel agent near there. While neither of us work near the mall anymore we both recognize the impact it had to our lives. It was a place to shop, socialize, hang out, go out on a date, and to work at. Woodfield has been an economic force for the area and it made Schaumburg what it is today.

    1. What a nice way to summarize your comment Joe. I would completely agree that Woodfield is very much a huge economic engine for the area. Mention Schaumburg to any Chicagoland person and they immediately say “Woodfield!”

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  69. i LOVED the old Woodfield. My friends mom worked at Sears and she would take us to work and we would hang out in the mall until she was done with work. We used to eat at Blimpy’s and loved the Roy Rogers hamburgers. I worked at the Pet shop called Petworld. Petworld used to manager the round fish tanks under the water fall in the center of the mall. I was recently trying to research that old chain and not coming up with anything. Anyone know anything about it or know people that worked there – hit me up! Mike R.

    1. Hello Mike,

      Thank you for supplying that nice little tidbit about Petworld managing the fish tanks under the waterfall. Good little detail to know!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  70. I don’t see Kaufman’s clothing store (women’s apparel)..I worked there with my mom for a few years as well as working at Stuart’s, Richman Bros and Brooks clothing..loved Woodfield Mall. These were all back from the mid-70’s to late ’70’s before I got married in 1979! I now live in Nashville, TN and no mall beats Woodfield as far as being 3 stories..miss it!!!

  71. I owned the Happi-Names store located near center court and across from the skating rink. I was there from fall of 1983-1988. During that time there was also Habersham Plantation furniture store, Victoria’s Secret, a neat shop which sold artist’s wares and was next to Hello Kitty, Things Remembered, Roy Rogers, Crate & Barrel, Anne Taylor, a greek restaurant up near Sears, an art gallery near Sears, Vie De France, John’s Garage, JC Penney, Marshall Fields, Lord & Taylor and so many more. I have some actual photos of my store and some of the mall from that period too. I never had to advertise as they would bring in busloads of people all the time. The mall also held classes for people where they would help them learn to navigate the mall so they wouldn’t get lost inside shopping or outside for parking. Apparently there were many directionally-challenged folks and the mall frightened them. I also remember the teen singer Tiffany coming to the mall to sing. I loved working there and am still in touch with many of my employees.

    1. Hello Kathy,

      How nice to hear from an owner/manager of a store at Woodfield. I have never had anyone mention Woodfield holding classes on navigating the mall. What an interesting concept. I would assume they also discussed the locations of a number of stores–and restaurants!

      I would be delighted to see the photos of the store and of the mall. If you would be interested in me doing a blog posting, I’d be more than happy to do so. You can email me at jrozek@stdl.org if you’re interested.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  72. I’ve been shopping at Woodfield since it opened! I STILL love going there when I can! One store I never saw mentioned was the Suitery! I believe it was where Kreske was on the upper level next to Sears! Possibly between when it was that and B. Dalton. You also forgot Petite Sophisticate! They have been so many and they moved from location to location within the mall they were hard to keep track of! I found this site because I had been trying to remember the name of the high-line woman’s clothing store from the late 70’s to 80’s and I found it mentioned here! Gantos! Thanks for all the fun memories!

  73. At opening There were 3 organ/piano stores wurlitzer, lyon and healy, and Thomas organ, the ones used on the Lawrence Welk show. Somewhere in the early 80s there was an Abercrombie and Fitch, before its makeover it was sort of a preppy conservative clothes store. I think there may have been a Karolls mens store early on as well. There were a couple of kitchen type stores along the way, perhaps a crate and Barrel and another independent. The original coffee store there was Gloria Jeans.

    1. Thank you for your additions to the list of stores. It was definitely a different day and time with three organ stores in the mall. Wow. That little tidbit is good to know!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library


    Hi all. My late dad used to own The Skewer back in the 80’s and reading through all these posts brings back memories. Woodfield was my 2nd home as my dad would take me there before the mall opened and after closing time. We’d run around an empty mall and through all the internal delivery tunnels. Does anyone have photos or memories of The Skewer? Thanks.

  75. My first job was at the Cookie Factory. You were able to see the cookies baking through a window. I remember kay bee toys, Marshall Fields, Sears, JCP, The Alley,Sams Pretzels,Mr. Submarine, the slide, and the awesome staff at the Skewer!

  76. One store that was at Woodfield I have not seen mentioned was the Rand McNally Map store. Thou I don’t believe they were an original tenant.

  77. this is crazy but does anybody remember the “Sunken Sub” bar I guess at the mall complete with port holes and lots of beer?

  78. I worked at Fields from 1974 thru 1976 my senior year and the most vivid memory I have is when John Travolta did an appearance as Vinny Barbarino on a Saturday and the place was packed with teenage Girls! He took out a Pink comb and when he ran it thru his long hair the crowd erupted. I was 16 at the time. What a trip!

  79. After reading all the blogs I can believe nobody mentioned the restaurant called Cinnabon. You could smell the cinnamon throughout the entire mall.
    I worked in the mall in the early 70’s and wanted to mention 3 more original stores I haven’t seen talked about yet. Flagg Bros. Shoes
    Frederick ‘s of Hollywood and Woodfield Bank. One Saturday morning back in 1972 the bank advertised it was displaying what a million dollars would look like in smaller bills. It attracted a lot of people and you should have seen the security guards. They were promoting new accounts at a new bank. Remember, a million dollars was a lot of money back then.

  80. Great story Joe! It’s always interesting to hear the various kinds of public relations campaigns local businesses have used–all in an attempt to draw business. A million dollars. Wow.

    Jane Rozek
    Local History Librarian
    Schaumburg Township District Library

  81. I haven’t seen anyone post the name Mark Shale. I worked there in the late 80’s. It was one of the most iconic of boutique-type stores that symbolized a certain style, class and wealth of that era! The impeccable customer service was unrivaled (at that time) and quite frankly, has never been matched (to date).🙂

  82. In the early 80’s was Craft Showcase, owned by the same company as Things Remembered and The Original Cookie

    1. Thank you Terri. I appreciate this addition. Were Things Remembered and The Original Cookie also at Woodfield Mall–or just affiliated?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  83. would love to take the Pace from Palatine to Woodfield on the weekends with school friends…favorite stores were International Time (to stare at all the clocks), Wicks & Sticks (to smell all the candles), & Hickory Farms (for all the free samples)

    1. Thank you for the comment Sean. I did not have International Time in my ongoing list of Woodfield stores. Good to know!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  84. I worked at a store called Clothes HQ upstairs in the Penney’s wing from late 1973 through the summer of 1974. I was working the night of the KISS appearance. I was in HS at the time. I think the owners had one other store at another mall in the area. Lots of denim, and polyester disco clothes for sale in the store, along with a Mary Quant nail polish display that we never sold anything from. I have no idea what happened to the store as I left for college in CO in the fall and have never gone back.

    1. Thank you ScottH! I did not have this store in my list of Woodfield tenants. Funny you remember the Mary Quant nail polish display in particular. I had to look that one up! It looks like Mary Quant Cosmetics was pretty new at the time.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

    2. Wasn’t there a radio station that sponsored a contest for the “world’s longest kiss” in the center area? Couples were engaged in a lip lock for several days. Then wasn’t the grand finale the band KISS showing up?

  85. I remember in the mid 80’s walking through Marshall
    Fields and seeing Liza Minelli near the entrance of the mall on a stage by the cosmetics area.

    1. Thank you Neil. I’ve added her to my ongoing list of famous people who have appeared at Woodfield. This is good information to have.

      Glad you commented!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      1. Loved reading through this blog! Stirred up my memory too. I remember a store called Cotton Ginny. A store that had girls/woman’s clothing. All had the Cotton Ginny logo. If I am not mistaken, it was mostly sweatshirts and t-shirts. It was a corner store. Possibly where Cheesecake factory is located. Does anyone remember the Osco in the mall, lower level corner. Lastly, in the 70’s- the restaurant/diner on corner*maybe Sears end? It was all windows-boothe and table sitting. It was an open grill, as in you could see them prepare your food. One more thing! MAILINGS…the shoe store lower level, JcP. My sister worked there-she used to get her Candie’s brand backless heels there. Lol ahhh. The 70’s!

  86. I worked at Tall Girls Shop in the early 1980s. My husband was a security guard at Woodfield Mall for several years. Some of the local celebrities he had to guard when they made guest appearances at the mall were Cookie the Clown and Wizzo the Wizard(both from the Bozo Show), as well as “soap stars”, including Richard Dean Anderson who went on to start in “Macgyver.” He also guarded Charlie Daniels, who gave him one of his albums as a thank you. One of the perks of his job was both of us getting in to see movies for free at the Woodfield Theaters. All he had to do was show his security guard badge at the box office. He also had an employee party(for Christmas, maybe?)at the skating rink.

    1. Hello Lynn,

      I was able to narrow down the time frame for Richard Dean Anderson. He was on General Hospital in 1980–which dovetails with your dates. I’m also wondering if Charlie Daniels didn’t come to Woodfield when he performed at Poplar Creek in 1982? Sort of a twofer for the area?

      Thank you for the comments!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  87. Jane, this blog is wonderful. It has been a blast reading through all the comments, adding bits of history here and there. I was about ten years old when Woodfield opened and just visited it again a few days ago with my grown children, who had never been there before. I hadn’t been to Woodfield in about 30 years [took a couple cars of college friends up to the theater there to see one of the Star Wars movies when it opened], so naturally everything is different today but it brought back a few memories walking through the place… and then even more memories reading here.

  88. Madigans JRs anyone have pics of the 2 story tall mannequin? Omg I would love pics! Also Arcadia and Le Charles so much fun!

  89. There were 2 stereo shops on the Penney’s side – one at the top of the elevator and the other by The Alley. They sold speakers, turntables, receivers, etc. Can’t remember the names though.

  90. My parents owned and operated The Plum Tree My 4 siblings and I all learned how to work there. We had the best location in the mall; the lower level across from the fountain. I can’t tell you how many times the “soap in the fountain” prank was pulled, but there were many days when bubbles ran wild causing the fountain to be turned off, much to the dismay of the visitors.
    My dad was a stickler for a tidy store. We dusted every item on every shelf weekly, and at the end of everyday we vacuumed and then raked the shag carpet.
    The Plum Tree was a family owned and operated store, and that certainly is something that has disappeared in the malls of today.

    1. These details about The Plum Tree are really nice Melody. I do have to smile, thinking of the bubbles cascading in those fountains. Thank you for supplying us with a bit more information on everyone’s favorite mall.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  91. My boyfriend worked at a shoe store when it opened. I would go with and walk around all day while he worked. Spent lots of time in the Alley. I thought I remember a Chess King he shopped at. Wicks N Sticks was my favorite.

  92. I took guitar lessons at a music store in the back of one of the Organ stores on the upper level near Pennys. I think it may have been called Jack Cecchinis or something like that. It just had a tiny counter with maybe 20 guitars on a wall with maybe 10 or so amps on the floor. One day my friend Phil and I were hanging out playing guitars when Kiss (who I had never heard of at the time) walked past. It was a shocking sight. I asked my friend if he saw what I did. He didn’t believe me so we ran out of the store until we chased them down.

    I used to love the Orange Bowl and The Alley.

    I always wanted to get one of those ribbons from Farrell’s that said “I made a Pig of myself at Farrell’s” (you had to eat “the trough” to get this.) They also made a sandwich that I still remember very fondly that was called “the GastroIntestinalEpicureansDelight” Does anyone have a menu from there?

    I’m ashamed to say this now but a few of us used to actually walk into the fountain in the middle to scoop out enough coins to buy a slice of pizza. We were also fond of buying Ice cream “to go” from Marshal Fields because they would pack it in dry ice wich we would throw into the fountain to make fog. I also used to buy those little wind up water creatures at the toy store and would let them go in the fountain. Might have been Kaybee toys but I’m not sure if that was there already in ’74.

    P.S. I found this blog because I was looking for store maps or photos of the free sanding directorys from the ’70s. Does anyone have something like this?

  93. I didn’t see it mentioned but I’m pretty sure that before the ice skating rink was built the space was originally the woodfield movie theatres.

    I believe this was called Woodfield 1 and 2 before they built the outside theatres which were originally called Woodfield 3 and 4. Please correct me if my memory is incorrect. Thanks.

      1. Yes, I’ve researched this on my own after the fact and have it straight now. Thanks for checking it out though. I have been trying to no avail to find an early directory or even a photo of an old mall directory sign. Anyone have such a thing?

  94. I just saw your article of the woodfield theatres written in 2010. So perhaps my memory is incorrect. Anyone else remember the theatre situation? It seems to me that the ice skating rink was not there when Johns garage first opened.

    1. Hello Steve,

      According to an article from the Daily Herald dated August 15, 1973, the indoor skating rink opened the following day as part of the Phase II Development at Woodfield. John’s Garage opened two years later in 1975. I wrote a blog posting on that a few years ago. https://ourlocalhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/johns-garage-filling-station/

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  95. Osco on lower level right outside jc penny on your right as you were leaving the store

    Team electronics. There were several electronic stores

    J riggings
    Mafigans for men
    Gentlemans choice – all female stylists

    I eorked at fields restaurant seven arches in early 70s. Steam table and service bartender at 18 years old!!

  96. As a kid I remember being dragged to the Homemakers furniture store down the road. At Woodfield Mall I remember the McDonald’s that was on the half level between the upper and lower levels in the center of the mall. I loved all the ramps as a kid. Also had fond memories of the separate movie theaters along the highway where each building had 2 screes (4 total) back in the pre-multiplex days.

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