Exploring Southside Mall — South Williamson, Kentucky

Some years back some buddies of mine and myself went up to West Virginia, somewhere between Logan and Charleston and went to a paintball range.  While up there I noticed this mall sitting on the hill in South Williamson, Kentucky, literally within walking distance of the Kentucky / West Virginia line.

Southside Mall Opened is located just off US 119 in South Williamson, Kentucky
Southside Mall Opened is located just off US 119 in South Williamson, Kentucky

I think what caught my eye mostly at the time was the fact that there was a Magic Mart, and aside from the Magic Mart in my home town of Harlan, Kentucky, I had never saw a Magic Mart store in an enclosed mall.

Magic Mart currently has 21 stores open in 4 states, including 3 in Kentucky
Magic Mart currently has 21 stores open in 4 states, including 3 in Kentucky

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When the mall opened in September of 1981 it was originally anchored my Kroger, SuperX, Dawahares and R.H. Hobbs.  The Kmart opened a few months later.  By 1983 the R.H. Hobbs Department store had closed down and the space had been taken over my Watsons.   The anchor line up would remain largely unchanged until 1998 when Watson’s was sold to Peebles, thus bringing Peebles to Eastern Pike County.    In 2002 when Kmart had their big round of store closings the South Williamson location was among them.  This space would soon be taken over by Magic Mart.

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I have searched and tried to find when the Kroger at this mall closed but I cant find a definite date.  I am thinking probably sometime in the early 2000’s.  I did however get in contact with someone who sent me some interesting interior pictures from this location.  The following photos of the interior of this Kroger store are not mine, but were too interesting not to share.

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Tractor Supply currently sits in the space once occupied by Kroger.
Tractor Supply currently sits in the space once occupied by Kroger.

This was actually an interesting make over for the greenhouse style store in my opinion.

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These stores filled the space that was vacated once Dawahares closed this location when the chain went out of business in 2008.

Interestingly enough, the mall directory has not been updated since and still lists Dawahares as being an anchor.

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I arrived at the mall just before 10, so a lot of the stores were not open yet.  Of course Magic Mart and Dollar Tree were open, but a lot of the in line mall stores were not.

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I'm pretty sure Claires was closed for good.  It had a thick black plastic over the door.  There was no sign or anything around though.
I’m pretty sure Claires was closed for good. It had a thick black plastic over the door. There was no sign or anything around though.

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The mall has a 4 screen theater in the back across from Sears and beside Magic Mart.

southside4 The rear exit of the mall

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My favorite aspect of this mall?  …..Check this out.

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They put a Game Stop store in the lawn and garden exit of the Kmart.  Perfect fit!

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I love that the mall management took the initiative to advertise for this mall.  This billboard was located along a busy stretch of US 119 about a mile north of the mall.

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The mall entrance to Magic Mart.   Which, by the way is a really neat store in my opinion.  Upon further research I have determined that this is, in fact the only location of Magic Mart within an enclosed mall.

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The former auto center space of Kmart is now occupied by a local shop.

All in all I would say, considering the relatively small town atmosphere this mall is located in, and the fact that a Walmart Super Center sits directly across US 119 from it, this mall is doing very well.  There are some empty spaces in the mall, but by the time I left at about 11am the mall was fairly busy for a Friday morning.  I would say the advertising and mall management has been a key to keeping this mall alive when so many others have failed or are failing.  Live on Southside mall and I will see you soon.

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