Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - If you are anything like me, chances are you've driven by this new and upcoming shopping center on Francisco Villa Ave., almost kitty-corner from La Comer, and thought to yourself "I'll stop by and explore once I see enough open shops inside."
Well, the 25 commercial spaces available there are far from occupied, but curiosity finally got the best of me, and I decided to stop by and see what's open, and why you'd want to visit at this time.
Parota Center features a two-story shopping complex with two additional stories for office space. Not immediately noticeable is the large parking lot right behind the building, a plus in this neighborhood.
Several businesses on the street level seemed to be ready for business, including Mi Pekeñ@ Ludoteca, some sort of children's day care center. Alas, despite their Abierto/Open sign, they were not.
Also on the street level, Black Rock Cycles features quality bicycles, cycling gear and accessories, along with a repair shop.
There is also Mr. Jeff, a laundromat, and Hola Snow, an ice cream shop.
Los Sabores de Mi Tierra, a specialty convenience store, used to be located in Fluvial, but according to the man in charge, they have been more successful here—good for them!
I found a couple businesses upstairs ready for business, including Barberos, a barbershop.
Joel Salon was not far from Barberos. Like the daycare center, it was closed. Next to it is Reviv, a wellness center with locations in over 30 countries.
Of particular interest - at least to me - is Chai, right next to the sidewalk on street level. It is a restaurant franchise with several locations in Guadalajara and other cities throughout Mexico. For me, a trip to Guadalajara is not complete without having at least one meal (or even just a cappuccino) at the Chai located on Ave. Juárez across from the Ex Convento del Carmen. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and their offerings are always fresh and affordable. It's the kind of place where you see people of all ages enjoying a nice meal and conversation, so I hope their first Puerto Vallarta location will offer a comparable experience.
Directly above Chai will be Dirty Fingers, a Guadalajara-based restaurant that specializes in Cajun-style seafood. A guy overseeing the construction crew at the restaurant told me that they expect to be open within a week.
What else is coming at Parota Center? The developer's website lists several commercial partners, including Banorte, BanRegio, Telcel, Starbucks, Santander and Anytime Fitness, so we'll have to wait and see if, indeed, these companies open shop here, and when.
Parota Center is located at Av. Francisco Villa 1010, across from Los Mangos Public Library.
A musician-turned-multimedia journalist, Paco Ojeda has been living in Puerto Vallarta since December 2001, describing the city and its surroundings through words, pictures and short videos for local, national and international publications ever since. Visit his website, Paco-Ojeda.com, for interesting news, articles, interviews, and reviews created with the approximately 35,000 US citizens and other anglophones living in Puerto Vallarta, in mind.