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Friday, September 5, 2008

A Revolutionary Concept at Patriot Place, Foxboro, MA

by Eric H., at VisitingNewEngland.com

Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, has come a long way since its initial inception as Schaefer Stadium in 1971. With the state-of-the-art Stadium, a dynasty-caliber team (although this year might not be the same with star quarterback Tom Brady expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury) and the new Patriot Place shopping and entertainment destination, this part of Foxboro, MA, will, no doubt, become more of a major destination than ever before.

While Patriot Place is still a work in progress, visitors will be amazed at the new complex of stores and restaurants with 1.3 million square ft. of shopping, entertainment and commercial endeavors that should be completed within the next few years. Already, it is a spectacular complex, with many shops and restaurants open for business. CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar opened this week and features a 360 ft. projection wall, tabletop televisions at every table (watch the game or classic CBS programming), outdoor dining overlooking Gillette Stadium, and an education of the storied CBS network through up-to-date technology and within its restaurant decor.

Bass Pro Shops offers an incredible variety of outdoor merchandise and clothing, but what is more amazing in the enormity and visual appeal of the 140,000 sq. ft. store: a 21-ft. waterfall leading to a huge aquarium with 400 fish native to New England, meandering streams, authentic-looking caves leading under the aquarium, a bridge that spans the first story, a two-story laser shooting arcade, a fishing shack display, a real lobster boat, a 50 ft. humpback whale display, glass elevators, a huge fireplace, a rustic cafe and an all-glass back of the building. It's sort of like Disneyland for the outdoor enthusiast.

Other stores open are Aeropostale, Baskin Robbins, Bath and Body Works, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops, Circuit City, Fossil and Godiva chocolates. Restaurants open include the Blue Fin Lounge in the Bass Pro Shops store, Davio's Italian restaurant, Red Robin for burgers, and Studio 3. It should be noted that Studio 3 is a casual, but upscale restaurant located within the new Showcase Cinema Delux. This state-of-the-art complex offers 14 giant screens and the "Lux level," offering in theater dining and drinks. The complex is elegant with baby grand pianos, and concierge service. It is indeed very different from the downtown movie theaters we used to walk to in our hometowns!

Once concern: hopefully, this new development will help other areas of Foxboro, a very nice town with some typical suburban problems like an underwhelming downtown and budget problems. The downtown is ripe for something special, as the circular town common surrounded by a church, a theater and historic buildings deserve more than empty storefronts and a vacant fire station. A restaurant taking over the old fire station would be a natural as the theater is right next door, thus creating a place to go at night for local residents who love the concept of a vibrant downtown. Perhaps Patriot Place and the emerging Chestnut Green retail, business and residential complex, currently in progress, will hopefully help, and not hurt, this potentially great downtown.

Regardless, Patriot Place looks amazing. While not completed, it's already the talk of the Town(s) around here and has already drawn in many local residents looking for shopping, dining and entertainment in one location.
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