The Hub Karen Is the Perfect Third Place | Lifestyle | KenyaBuzz

The Hub Karen Is the Perfect Third Place

08 Jun 2016 | By Tim Mworia | @timworia

Why You Should Visit The Hub Karen

It is unusual to hear Freud invoked in respect to a shopping mall. Then again, The Hub Karen is not a usual mall. At least not in Kenya. Mall manager Jonathan Yach and the people behind the new establishment have broken down the mall-going experience into a psychology.

They understand the third place concept and they understand that what you expect is an alternative place, away from home and work. Every inch of the mall from design to services to landscaping revolves around this.

It comes with little surprise then that despite a road under heavy construction outside and a number of shops yet to open, the mall has just welcomed its 600,000th visitor. And this is within just four months of operations.

Here are the 10 reasons you should be visitor number 600,001 and make The Hub Karen your third place.

1. The Piazza
The European style 2000sqm open-air space is the heartbeat of the mall. It’s a dining hotspot surrounded by an excellent array of eateries in a charming setting. The place is a marvel. It is characterized by open-air walkways, wide arches, earth tones and a clock tower on one end. On the other end, a film is screened on a draping canvas in evening air once a month. A wide staircase leads to a mini-piazza one floor up.

Why You Should Visit The Hub Karen

2. Unique retailers and specialist shops
A huge part of making The Hub an attractive destination is the choice of retailers. The mall has employed a deliberate strategy of hosting shops and stores you won’t find anywhere else in Kenya. A clear example is their anchor tenant Carrefour, a French chain of supermarkets.

Other than that, The Hub is taking steps to think up all the little day-to-day services you may need and make them available to you. Whether you need to get a tattoo, or your key cut, or your shoes polished, you will be covered once you’re there.

3. Fun activities you’ve always wished were available in Nairobi
Remember the last time you thought to yourself, “Where can I find fun stuff to do with my kids? (or friends, or colleagues)” Of course you do. It’s practically an every weekend thing. Here, there’s the child-friendly amusement zone Funscapes, Kenya’s first Planetarium, a skate board park and mini-golf.

4. Free and fast Wi-Fi
This is a clincher. Nothing else cuts across all generations as the internet does. Everyone wants to be connected at all times for different reasons; and anyone who makes it easy for us to do this is our bestest bud. A first time connector to the mall’s Wi-Fi is asked to offer some basic information about themselves, but nothing to panic about. The questions are impersonal and are for research purposes, to help the mall and retailers better understand their customers.

Why You Should Visit The Hub Karen

5. The landscapes
Impressively, The Hub is a commercial hub that feels more like a paradise of nature. Just past the piazza a lovely little bridge leads to an 8000sqm set of recreational lakes that will soon be filled with all kinds of birdlife, including ducks and geese. Surrounding the lakes is an abundance of green space where visitors can picnic or just lay. There’s as well a fountain area for kids to play and a tiny weather center you will love.

6. Lots of room and well lit
The mall feels vast and spacious. Even the basement parking is airy with enough headroom to allow in some natural lighting. Understandably, enclosed spaces tend to be a safety concern, particularly for women who are alone. There are no such concerns at The Hub.

7. Breeds diversity and is inclusive
Expect to find a great choice in local and international cuisines and dining options available throughout the mall. Italian, Spanish, Continental, Middle-Eastern and many more. Other than that the mall upholds religious diversity by making prayer rooms available. The mall also makes it quite easy for disabled visitors to move around.

Why You Should Visit The Hub Karen

8. Meticulous and secure
In my tour around the mall with Mr. Yach, the mall manager, it came across to me that this is a place that is not bored by the nitty-gritty details. The security checks are thorough yet amiable. No one is big enough to evade the screening process, not even the mall manager himself.

Mr. Yach on his part doesn’t tire when it comes to maintaining the quality of experience they promise their visitors. Just the previous day, he had each tile that makes up the floor of the 2000sqm piazza tapped for hollowness and marked for replacement!

9. Allows pets
Your furry friends don’t have to miss out on the fun. They even allow horses! Just remember to have your dog on a leash and carry all the necessary certification. Pets are also restricted to designated areas.

10. Allows photography
I’ve never really understood malls or entertainment establishments that do not allow photography. I’ve been in a few, you probably have too. We’re a selfie-obsessed bunch and we like to capture our every moment for posterity, or maybe just for snapchat. The Hub understands this, and remember Wi-Fi is FREE.

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