Summer Grove Mall
1500 Eastern Boulevard

The Summer Grove Mall is Shadowgard's one and only true indoor shopping mall -- but it's a big one: a full five floors and a couple basement levels packed with stores and restaurants to cater to virtually every taste, as well as a skating rink, a bowling alley, a health spa and a swimming pool. A vast food court offers a taste of the world, provided that one's conception of world cuisine is limited to Chinese, Indian, Tex-Mex, pizza, burgers, ice cream and donuts; and national dine-in chains such as the Cheesecake Factory and the Rainforest Café sit alongside independent restaurants such as Aria, which specializes in reinterpretations of Italian cuisine, and the Draught and Dragon, an English-style pub.

There are very few independent retailers inside the mall. Most of the retail space is dominated by major national and regional chains ranging from Sears to Abercrombie & Fitch to Barnes and Noble to Urban Outfitters to Delia's. The most notable exception is Brady's Comics Emporium, infamous throughout Shadowgard for the sheer terror it inspires in many casual shoppers. The store is dark and cramped, with tall shelves set claustrophobically close together, stained posters of large-breasted superheroines and overly masculine superheroes covering the grime-coated walls, a curtained portal to the adult section set in perfect shadows for abduction and God knows what else, and a bathroom that hasn't been cleaned in at least a decade. Brady's regular clientele is uniformly creepy and ignorant of hygiene, and Brady himself most closely resembles a somewhat thinner version of The Simpsons' "Comic Book Guy" with a much stronger child molester aura surrounding him. Not one woman or child has dared to enter Brady's in four years, something in which the owner seems to take a perverse sense of pride. The shop is notorious and feared throughout the city, and it's widely known that the owners and operators are frantically searching for some excuse, any excuse, to kick the shop out altogether and cleanse the valuable space of the filth that currently occupies it. Strangely, all their attempts have thus far met with spectacular failure.

Aside from that black spot on the Summer Grove Mall's reputation, the place is a shopper's paradise. Any number of local teens and college students can be found here on the afternoons and weekends, and the mall runs a free shuttle between the parking lot and Shadowgard Center to ensure that these young adults and all their other potential customers always have ready access.