New Bryn Mawr Village Shopping Center



Haley Millstein

As the school year began to wind down, construction to the 915 and 925 section of West Lancaster Avenue began.  Wedged between an upscale fashion boutique, Skirt and the Bryn Mawr Firehouse, a desolate property in the Bryn Mawr Village Shopping Center was waiting for a resurrection.

Offering about 35,000 square feet of retail space and roughly 17,000 square feet office space, Bryn Mawr Village provides the Main Line with several opportunities to welcome new retailers and working class citizens alike. One could argue that between the Radnor and Lower Merion Township sections of Lancaster Avenue, Main Liners have it all, but the shopping center proves that you can never have too much variety. 

La Colombe Coffee Roasters opened and set a tone of excitement that would be hard to match for the remainder of the shopping center. Located away from the bustling Bryn Mawr Starbucks, the coffee shop would have to hold its own against the power chain that had already established loyalty from long-term Main Liners and Villanova University students. The coffee shop, housed in a former SEPTA bus terminal garage, purposefully doesn’t offer WiFi to encourage conversation. Despite its lack of wireless Internet, its spacious and well-lit seating area welcomes studying and relaxation. This hip coffee chain is making the Main Line a little less mainstream.

As the summer and fall passed, stores began to popped up, seemingly overnight. Trendy sportswear and accessory brand, Athleta, opened alongside luxury beauty retailer and spa, Blue Mercury, drawing shoppers in with their large signage and storefronts. 

Villanova students have already taken advantage of what the new retailers have to offer. Villanova senior Emma Raftery lives off-campus on the 1000 block of County Line Road and raves about the opening of the new Bluemercury. “It’s just so easy,” she said, “I can walk there in under five minutes to get all of my beauty essentials, as opposed to getting in my car and driving to the closest Blue Mercury at Suburban Square or in Wayne.” 

To continue the retail trend, SoHo boutique Kirna Zabete opened behind La Colombe. Contrary to the popular belief of many Villanova students, this space is not a karate studio, but a  clothing boutique offering selective designer styles of the season. Pronounced “KEER-nah zah-BETT,” the brand has expanded from its urban Manhattan location to a suburban location. According to, owner Beth Buccini has cited clients in her Manhattan location such as Gwyenth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz. 

Leasing and development of the shopping center is still underway, however, other current retailers include the Turning Point restaurant, Solidcore Fitness and a massage studio to complement the invigorating workout.  Turning Point offers a new alternative to the usual brunch spots of Villanova students such as Nudy’s Café, Minellas Diner, and First Watch Café. Opening just after the New Year, Turning Point has already been frequented by off-campus students, proving its worth with its unique menu of food and drinks. 

Next to Turning Point sits Solidcore fitness, a workout brand that offers a different take on pilates. The UV lit studio, featuring inspiring messages printed on the grounds, and dual-ended pilates reformers, offers the type of workout that will have you sore for a week. Villanova senior and Main Line fitness enthusiast Samantha Garger attended her first Solidcore class last week and is still feeling the pain. “When I walked into the studio, the instructor handed me a neon marker and told me to write an inspiring message to myself on the mirror,” she said.  “I really enjoyed that because whenever I wanted to quit, I could look up and remember the mantra that reflected why I showed up to workout in the first place.” 

Despite looking forward to the continuous additions to the center, excitement and loyalty for what’s currently open has grown. Just when it seemed like the Main Line had it all, Bryn Mawr Village Shopping Center proved there is still space for retail on Lancaster Ave. Save up, students, it seems as though the new development is worth spending the extra buck.