There were just as many construction workers, insurance adjusters and cleanup crews at the Galleria as there were customers. But the shoppers who DID show up said they were thrilled to be back. Stevie Rey of Auburn was on the way to the mall to meet her husband the day of the fire. That didn't work out, so yesterday, she came back to support the mall's recovery.
Rey: "I am surprised they opened it so quickly - it's amazing. I'm impressed."
About a quarter of the Galleria remains closed entirely, blocked off by ceiling-high wooden walls. And just forty of the mall's 240 stores reopened yesterday. Sara Townsend manages one of the stores that's still closed--Talbots.
Townsend: "It's sad for us that we're missing out on some of the business, but I'm happy that there are stores that can open."
Last week's fire caused $55 million in damage to the Galleria. Some stores won't reopen for months. Others are hurrying to be back in business for Black Friday.