They pulled on the door handles and peeked through the windows, but dozens of shoppers quickly found out that Kings Plaza Mall is closed.

"The mall, I thought, would be open by now, but apparently not,” said one would-be shopper.

What You Need To Know

  • Indoor malls were excluded from Phase 4 reopening.

  • Shoppers turned up at Kings Plaza Mall not knowing it was still closed.

  • Three major retailers, including Macy’s, were alllowed to open because of side doors located just off the street.

Indoor malls were supposed to reopen as part of Phase 4 of the city's recovery, but they were excluded, along with museums and theaters due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Yet that message did not reach many who came to shop on Monday. Serenity Harris traveled from East Flatbush and said she’s disappointed. 

“I came here for one thing and it's like the store is not even open. So now I have to take an Uber back.,” Harris said.

While Harris spent another $15 on her return trip, some took their own cars and parked in the garage.

"We parked thinking it was going to be convenient to park inside,” said one shopper. “It's so hot. We've been walking for the past two-and-a-half blocks looking for the entrance. We don't even know. No one is helping us. There's nothing. We're just like stuck and it's ridiculous."

The mall's three big retailers did opened — Macy's, JC Penney and Burlington — because they can be entered from the street. To figure out how to access those stores, though, posed a challenge for shoppers.

“You have to go on one side on Avenue U for Macy's and then you'll have to go around to Flatbush for the entrance to JC Penney,” one explained. “It's better if you have everything open."

For those who did navigate through the confusion, there was some shopping success. 

“I found out yesterday that they were open so I said, you know what, let me go ahead and return something. It was time to go out and shop and it feels good,” said the happy customer.

Still, not everyone was looking for a sale. Some were patients trying to see a podiatrist and other doctors who have offices inside the mall.

"I had a foot doctor appointment and it's very important,” said one patient. “I'm well upset right now because this is not good enough. They shouldn't give the appointment if they know you can't get any entrance to go in anywhere.”

It is not clear when Kings Plaza will be able to fully reopen. That decision is to be determined by the state, which has not rolled out a timeline.