Fox Run Mall; Newington (Portsmouth), New Hampshire

Fox Run Mall pylon in Newington, New HampshireThe Fox Run Mall is the lone enclosed shopping center serving the seacoast region of New Hampshire. Since there’s no signage alerting you of the fact, many mistakenly assume the mall is located in the affluent and picturesque coastal city of Portsmouth, but is actually in the tiny suburb of Newington, just to the city’s north and west.

Opening in 1983 adjacent to the existing, four-anchor Newington Mall in a large and prosperous retail district, the Fox Run Mall featured Sears, JCPenney, Filene’s, and Jordan Marsh as anchor stores. The long, winding mall (here’s a leasing plan, in PDF) features approximately 600,000 square feet of retail space, with room for nearly 100 tenants. New Hampshire has no sales tax, so many malls in New Hampshire were built near state lines to take advantage of interstate traffic, and the Fox Run Mall is no exception: it is only a mile or two from the Maine border and only about 15 miles from Massachusetts, and near the junction of the Spaulding Turnpike and I-95. The only substantial anchor shifts through the center’s life involved acquisitions: Jordan Marsh was purchased by Macy’s in the mid-1990s, and then recently the Filene’s store was converted to a second Macy’s space in the mall as a result of the Federated/May merger. Unlike most malls that featured both a Federated and May store, both here remained open due to their relatively small size. The center sported a rather dark and heavily brown decor until a renovation in either 2000 or 2001 made it look the way it does today.

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

The Fox Run Mall did ultimately kill its neighbor, the smaller and older Newington Mall, in the mid-1990s. The Fox Run Mall (which is today owned by Simon) purchased the Newington Mall in 1995 or 1996 and evited all of the remaining in-line tenants, connected the two properties by road, and turned the old mall into a large annex, “The Crossings at Fox Run,” that consists almost entirely of big box stores and shares a logo with the Fox Run Mall. I’ll write some more about this in a separate post at some point.

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Macy's at Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

While not the most entertaining of malls, the Fox Run Mall sports a few minor points of cool design. Two of the mall’s anchors are located off large courts, set apart from the mall itself, that give them dramatic frontage. In addition, the old Filene’s anchor is one of the edgiest and most interesting of their store designs, with triangular, glass entrances pushed to the corners of the building and a rock face on both the exterior and interior. Sadly, this store even sported the long-disused, 1970s vintage art-deco-styled Filene’s logo up until being re-bannered as Macy’s. The mall’s narrow and windy nature also makes it feel larger than it is, since you’re constantly twisting and turning through its hallways.

Perhaps the best bit, though, is their distinctive logo, which for some reason is widely known to many New Englanders who haven’t even visited the mall. For some reason, people just love that fox.

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire JCPenney at Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Macy's at Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

Fox Run Mall in Newington, New Hampshire

55 Responses to “Fox Run Mall; Newington (Portsmouth), New Hampshire”

  1. The JCPenney and Filene’s are great, but the Jordan Marsh is a snoozer.

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  2. Every time I go to Boston (2-3 times a year), I always make a point to stop by the Fox Run Mall. The Filene’s was interesting to say the least, it was set up like a maze and I got lost for half an hour once trying to find my way out. It’s been straightened out under Macy’s.

    Do any other malls have two Macy’s now? I’ve taken to calling the ex-Jordan Marsh “Macy’s 1″ and the ex-Filene’s “Macy’s 2″.

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  3. Ugly mall entrances… :p

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  4. In the late 90s, the Filene’s end of the mall was considerably dead: I seem to recall there being a vacant Bed and Bath down toward that tend as well. Looks like that area of the mall is back in business, the renovation appears to have worked wonders in making the interior feel larger and more lighted.

    If you’re a fan of that Filene’s at Fox Run, the former Maine Mall location looks exactly the same. From what I’ve heard, the Maine Mall stone/triangle location will be razed in the near future for a movie theater, but with Macy’s, the odd Fox Run location will live for a while longer.

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  5. Also wanted to tell you that the old Crossgates Mall Filene’s(the first store before the 94 expansion of the mall) in Albany. New York had that triangular shaping to it as well. It is now occupied by Dick’s Sporting Goods on the upper level, and Cohoes Fashions( a local department store) on the lower level.

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  6. The Cape Cod Mall (Hyannis, MA) has (had) both Filene’s and Jordan Marsh that are now both Macy’s too. I think the smaller Filene’s location is now the men’s store for Macy’s…

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  7. I recently visited Fox Run Mall. The new Macy’s Womens Stores, which was a Filene’s which looks just like 2 other Filene’s I visited in 1993. The Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine & Crossgates Mall in Albany, New York. Fox Run Mall is a mall with strong anchors.

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  8. I recently visited Fox Run Mall. The new Macy’s Womens Stores, which was a Filene’s which looks just like 2 other Filene’s I visited in 1993. The Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine & Crossgates Mall in Albany, New York. Fox Run Mall is a mall with strong anchors.

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  9. I thought the name Fox Run Mall sounded familiar…there is a Fox Run Mall in Glastonbury, CT (one of Hartford, CT’s wealthier suburbs). The Fox Run Mall in Glastonbury is not a real mall more of a strip mall with some smart growth measures that will soon be home to Greater Hartford’s second Whole Foods.

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  10. […] A few weeks back, I was up in the Portland, Maine area and managed to swing by one of my favorite New England malls, the massive Maine Mall in South Portland. It’s the only true super-regional shopping mall in the entire state of Maine, and the only real enclosed mall serving the state’s largest metropolitan area, a somewhat cosmopolitan and affluent region with a population of about 500,000. (The next closest major mall is Newington, New Hampshire’s Fox Run Mall, an hour to the south) […]

  11. Here’s what Fox Run Mall in Glastonbury, Connecticut looks like. It’s quite a groovin’ little center. http://new.photos.yahoo.com/xismzero/album/576460762389552099

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  12. Weird I never noticed the logo of this mall before. I really do think its a very stylish and cool logo, though(and definately more interesting than the logo of the local mall near my college, Eastland Mall of Bloomington, IL). (which btw, is basically an exclamation mark(!) with an E over the top part of the exclamation mark)

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  13. The Fox Run Mall is owned but the Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York and is managed by Jones Lang Lasalle Retail. It is one of the few in NH Hampshire that is NOT owned by Simon.

    http://www.jllretail.com

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  14. I remember this mall having a Porteous Mitchell & Braun, out of Portland ME, I grew up in Glastonbury CT and would vacation in Portsmouth and it was a substantial mall in the 1980’s. Funny I work part time for Macy’s West in the San Francisco Bay Area and Macy’s East is not as nice of a store. I find the merchandise in Macy’s West so much more upscale than Macy’s East.

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  15. The Porteous was in the old Newington Mall, which is now the Crossings at Fox Run.

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  16. Is Newington Mall still enclosed, or was it demalled?

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  17. Newington was demalled.

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  18. I just took a walk theough the Fox Run Mall for the first time in a couple of years. I counted 14 empty spaces, so whatever renovation or remodeling others were talking about, I wasn’t too impressed with what I saw there. Up at the Maine Mall, theer are a number of empty spaces as well, but I know as a fact that major upscale retailers are interested and are negotiating for at least some of those spots. At Fox Run, some of the older empty spaces have been filled with “Mom and Pop” type stores, which to me is not a good sign (except for Mom and Pop!). The mall was extremely clean, and there seemed to be a fair amount of shoppers, but the large number of empty spaces gives to me the impression that nothing exciting is going to happen there anytime soon. Woodbury Ave, the road that leads to the mall from Portsmouth, has many closed stores and restaurants as well.

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  19. Well there a walmart near fox run mall now. As well as teax roadhouse which dosen’t open till 4pm on weekday.

    Also the newington theater move alittle bit. there atleast three resturants closed.

    One was beacsue it was to manny for the Owners. So they closed plenty of them down. others just could of been moved. there plenty of sales.

    The mall is ususally boring itself I cant stand people from maine and mass drives me crazy.

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    Maine People Reply:

    At least Maine people can spell.

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  20. My mother and I recently tried to recall all of the stores that resided in this mall in the 80s (while the Newington Mall was close to closing) – We recalled Barbara Moss, Bed and Bath, Express, The limited, The Gap, Gloria Jean’s, and Suncoast Video – most of which are still there. I remember very well when Jordan Marsh and Filene’s were still there, and when the Newington Mall had Montgomery Ward, Porteous, and I think, Rich’s (what was the fourth?)

    The funniest thing about Fox Run is that the food court has always been called the “Food Festival” – When I was a child, there was Orange Julius, a nice restaurant called Memory Lane (now a Mexican place), and lots of smaller places – no Dunkin’ or McDonald’s back then!

    Lastly, I noticed that a lot of mom-and-pops have found their way in – most recently, Express (which had been enormous) was taken over by York, Maine-based jewelers Bill & Bob (and next door, formerly Bath and Body Works, is now a candy shop). All of the other major chains, most of which came in in the late 90s-early 00s, are still there.

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  21. I was back at this mall last weekend. Noticed a large amount of renovations and empty spaces lately, particularly down in the ex-Filene’s end (still pissed off about Finish Line down there going under last year). Victoria’s Secret had moved from a spot down there over to the old Suncoast spot next to JC Penney, and a couple of neighboring stores had closed too – and they were all closed off by one big wall. I wonder if they’re renovating that into something bigger.

    Also was surprised to see a couple of newly abandoned restaurants along Woodbury Ave. SmokeyBones was one of them, but that chain in general has been a flop. But I was also surprised to see Pizzeria Uno gone. One the other hand, I noticed a new Texas Roadhouse, and Olive Garden was basically SRO.

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  22. I was in the area last weekend as well, and thought that I would see the Fox Run Mall. It was my first time there, and since I didn’t have a lot of time, I didn’t go in any stores, except JCPenney, and walked the mall. I wanted to see what the JCPenney looked like, because I work for the company, and it was very small. Only 1 floor! I did a bit more research on wikipedia and saw that all of the anchors at Fox Run are fairly small. I saw the old Filenes, the design was neat. The mall seemed nothing special to me, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to it.

    JP, criter, and JF, I didn’t drive down all of Woodbury Ave, but I saw the 2 closed restaurants that I think you are talking about, right next to eachother, on the opposite side of Fox Run. I researched online but couldn’t find the 2 restaurants that closed. Thanks for telling me, they were Smokey Bones & Uno. What other closed stores and restaurants were on Woodbury Ave?

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  23. Smokey Bones’ closure was part of a big wave of them nationwide…some research shows that Uno had some wrangling with the Town of Newington over a turning lane into the place, and they threatened to close if they didn’t get their way. The town blinked and Uno pulled out. Kind of surreal to see the two abandoned restaurants off by themselves on what’s otherwise a fairly prosperous strip.

    Someone more familiar with Portsmouth can correct me on this, but the only other chain restaurant I can think of that closed in that area recently was Pizza Hut, and that was a good 3-4 years ago. It’s been torn down and replaced by a Starbucks.

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  24. Kentucky Fried Chicken closed, but that’s no big loss.
    The Victoria’s Secret is only renovating. They tool over the Lane Bryant that was next to them and they will be reopening sometime in May.

    The mall has a lot of closures. And some sad local stores. It needs some better national retailers like Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. There are more that a few stores I wouldn’t mind getting the boot.

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  25. My mother was going through some of my old baby stuff. In one of the things she found, was my first outing, and that was to the Newington Mall.

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  26. I used to work at the MVP/Decathlon store from 2001 until it folded in Dec, 2003. From what I’ve seen, in spite of the closing restaurants, the area is on the rebound. The Crossings at Fox Run had been nearly empty with the loss of Bradlees, then even further when Decathlon closed all but it’s top 4 stores (we were consistently #5). Many of the smaller storefronts were vacant, but since the arrival of Dick’s, and Staples moving into our old location, things are picking up. The massive upgrade they recently did to the movie theater certainly didn’t hurt either.

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  27. I was stationed at Pease AFB in the early 80s. I remember Memory Lane, York Steak House (like a Ponderosa but better), Chopsticks (loved it!), Doctors Pets, some cool magazine and tobacco place, and an Eric Fuchs Hobbies (always found that name amusing). Outside the mall I remember the Isaac Dow House, The Asia, D’Angelos, a drive-in theater, and some popular pizza joint at Newington Mall. I think it was called Papa Genos.

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  28. Is the Red Lobster still there? It is my favorite. The last time I was there was back in the mid 90’s with my mom. I hope it hasn’t closed. There is no other place in NH that has the Red Lobster!

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  29. Red Lobster is no more. It may have become The Olive Garden. Darden did that with several ex-Red Lobsters in Maine. Right now, the closest RL’s to New England are in New York State.

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    Bryan Reply:

    @CE, Red Lobster became TGIF

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  30. Yeah, there’s a big strip mall in town, and they were gonna build a new Red Lobster on the pad, but decided to go with the Olive Garden. That kinda made sense, since the old Olive Garden had burnt down in a grease fire…

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  31. I walked through this mall again today, and there were still many empty spaces, along with even more “Mom and Pop” type shops. The only sign of life was PAC SUN, which is moving from a smaller spot to a larger one (which will create yet another empty space). There were almost no cars in the parking lot, and very few shoppers inside. I knew that Portsmouth was too small a market to support two malls back when Fox Run was built. Now it’s clear to see where everyone in that Seacoast area shops – the Kittery Outlets! I went there afterward and was hard pressed finding a parking place at any of the lots. I used to compare FOX RUN to the MAINE MALL addition built back in the 80’s. But with H & M, COLDWATER CREEK, APPLE, and FOREVER 21 among some of the new MAINE MALL additions, these two malls aren’t even in the same class any longer.

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    Jason Morgan Reply:

    @JF,

    You went in the middle of summer, when the Kittery Outlet mall is jam-packed because York is packed full of beach-goers. Go back after the kids go back to school, and you’ll see near-empty parking lots.

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  32. Having grown up in Southern Maine since the late 80’s, I can’t honestly say I’m all that pleased with The Fox Run Mall. I remember the renovation inside that took place in 2001/2001 (they took out a large black clock from the food court area, re-tiled the brick floors, and took down or covered the mirrored ceilings in the food court.) This gave the mall a much cleaner, brighter and airier feel. The food court also had an arcade in the early 90’s (now build a bear), there was a Burger King, Orange Julius and Blake’s (the only sit down restaurant in the mall).

    Although a lot of changes were made primarily in the last two years. (Stores like, Charlotte Ruse, Hollister, and Torrid’s coming in.) And recent renovations which include; Victoria Secret, Pac Sun, Bath and Body Works, Spencer’s, Lids, and JC penny. I have noticed that there are still many vacant stores. Yet off the top of my head I can count five jewelry stores (six now including bob’s jewelry).

    The closing of Filene’s was very disappointing, it confused many people as to where to go for what. (They split up the men’s/ juniors/children’s in one store and women’s apparel/ women’s shoes/Cosmetics/Jewelry in the old Filene’s)

    The crossing at fox run has definitely improved, with a new Staples, Cold stone Creamery, MASSIVE revamp at Regal Cinema, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fresh City, KOHLS, Best Buy, Old Navy B&N etc.

    All in all the mall defiantly still needs some revamping to compare to the mall’s south of us in Massachusetts. I’d suggest more shoe stores, men’s clothing stores, and home good places (such as Pottery Barn!). But being that its the only mall in the seacoast region we haven’t got much of a choice.

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  33. I think at the time the old Newington Mall was built, there were no other malls in New Hampshire, so all of Massachusetts, hoping to save money on tax, went to Newington. But with time, Manchester got a mall and so did Nashua, and Salem got the largest one of all. All three of those shopping areas are so close to Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill that it’s easy to see why business in Portsmouth has declined. There’s not much reason for paople in Maine to come down either, since the South Portland mall has added so many new stores. I think the entire Southern New Hampshire market has been overbuilt anyway. Without Massachusetts support, none of those malls, with the exception of Manchester, would be as large as they are.

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  34. What was the name of the arcade in the Newington Mall?
    I went there as a kid and loved it!
    That was the outing of the week…..the arcade and Orange Julius!!
    Boy, that brings back memories!!

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  35. The mall WAS called “Dream Machine” and has been closed down for many years now. There was also a large(for a mall) Burger King to the left of it with full sit down seating and a 2nd level of seating(I think it may just be walled off now). To the right of the old arcade was Memory Lane then it became Shortys then they downsized and sold out to another Mexican restaurant(sitdown). All the “Dream Machines” in New England at one point closed down due to changes in the coin-Op business market, rising lease rates, along with security concerns from mall managers Etc.

    There use to be arcades from other owners in several other New England Malls under the name “Space Center” if I am correct but they closed for similar reasons, mostly due to the ultra high lease rates in some the super regional malls. That company also left the Coin-Op business all together and sold off what it had. The parent company name was “Manchester Music”, they had one free standing arcade in Hooksett, NH near Manchester, NH that was sold off to a private party and still is in operation today. It is located across the street from the states only IMAX.

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  36. (correction, the arcade was called “Dream Machine” sorry about that)

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  37. I worked for Dream Machine arcade in 1984, Kay Bee toys in 1985, Sears in 1997, And Filene’s from 1998 to 2004. I also worked Security in the now Home Depot spot “OMNE ” Mall ( Outlet Mall of New England ) anyone remember that? The idea didnt work well…. The Newington Mall was one of the first malls in the state, with anchors Bradlees, Montgomery Wards, and Porteous…and there was a Shaws there once too….all long gone of course, home to Kohls and Best Buy among others….check out my website, memories of Filene’s….the BEST employer I worked for. http://www.farewellfilenes.homestead.com
    peace out.

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    Mona McDonald Reply:

    @Bryan Lewis,

    remember the great restaurant on the top floor of Filenes? The chicken pot pie with the puff pastry crust was the BEST!!! My mom would take us shopping once a month(from Central mass) and one big Xmas shopping. This was during the 60’s and 70’s. We spent our time going up and down the escalators!! Back when llittle kids could run freely around the store! great memories. Those pictures really take me back!

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    Josh Reply:

    @Bryan Lewis, I remember OMNE, my father would take me there when I tagged along on his business trips. It was the first place I saw an ATM. The place was 1/4 leased at best. They had a bookstore with remainders and odds and ends- no bestsellers, very nice. I thought it was an office building. But I also thought it was on Route 1.

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  38. I visit this mall in July 2007, the Fox Run Stadium has an unusual layout, the movie theater is obscured behind the Crossings at Fox Run, it is connected to the parking lot by a narrow roadway.

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  39. Hey Bryan

    You worked at Dream Machine in 1984? Do you remember working with a big-haired blond that wore loads of make-up?

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    Bryan Reply:

    @JJ, yes I do, her name was Cheryl I think !

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  40. really neat area, if anyone has been to Pease Tradeport and done a little exploring, they can easily come to the road that leads to the Conservation Area (former weapons storage area) and seen an abandoned entrance to the former Air Force base near the Wal-Mart and a short drive from the entrance to Fox Run. Looking through the fence, it’s almost as like the road used to run right to to base.

    I remember the old mall, I remember Home Quarters that went under. Most of all, I remember Chucky Cheese as a kiddo.

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  41. Fox Run and Newington were the places to go before eating a seafood platter at Newicks!

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  42. Remember the arcade called ZAP at the Marshall’s Plaza (on Woodbury Ave)? It later became Steven’s Pizza. I also recall (in the Fox Run Mall) Burger King having an ice cream station separate from the actual restaurant at the entrance to their “palace dining room of two floors.” I recall that JC Penney was built at least 2-4 years after the mall originally opened. I remember Lauriat’s Book Store that took over for York Steak House. Electronics Boutique, later EB Games. B Dalton Software, later GameStop. How about Thom McAn and Kinney Shoes? Tape World and Record Town, anyone? Winebaum’s Smoke Shop (magazines and newspapers also). Blake’s Ice Cream. Arby’s. Au Bon Pain. Bed & Bath. San Francisco Music Box Company. Baskin Robbins at the Newington Mall…and Paperback Booksmith and Musicsmith…what memories!!!

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  43. New article from one of the local papers:

    Fox Run Mall’s location is a blessing and curse

    http://fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100212/GJNEWS_01/702129894

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  44. Wow! Who made this site? A great job in commemerating the memories and history of a much beloved New England mall. I feel all the more blessed now to have grown up around it with all the good memories I have from going there over the years.

    Thank you for putting this together.

    God Bless!

    Jim C.

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  45. When I lived in Dover from 1975-78, Portsmouth was still a sleepy old town with very little in the way of stores and restaurants. Anyone remember Laverdiere’s and J. J. Newberry? And a very nice store called Strawberry Bazaar, which actually existed until around 2005, give or take a year, in a different location.
    I’m amazed to see three restaurants from those years still thriving: Dolphin Striker, The Library, and Oar House. Even the old Pier II hung on through the ’90’s. But back then, the two BEST restaurants, hands down, were The Isaac Dow House in Newington and its sister restaurant Hannon’s on 3rd St. in Dover. The owner, Bart Foster, also had a third one — The Steak & Stein in Newburyport, MA.
    Great memories!

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    bart Foster Reply:

    @Alan G,
    Thank-you Alan as they are good menories for me.
    Peace
    Bart Foster

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  46. Hey Bryan

    You worked at Dream Machine in 1984? Do you remember working with a big-haired blond that wore loads of make-up?

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  47. I have lots of memories of spending way too much time in this mall as a youth. If I remember correctly, my mother worked at the Porteous around the time she met my father for the first time.

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  48. yes! I think her name was Cheryl.

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