The original logo of the mall from the grand opening advertisement.
Stores at the grand opening of the mall in 1966 were
Bank of the South
Holmes Car Care Center
K and B Drugstore (Katz and Bestoff)
Magi Gift Shop
National Shirt Shop
Oakwood Barber Shop
Sears Auto Center
The list of stores that opened up just after the grand opening.
American Thrift Finance
Chatta Box Beauty Salon and Boutique
Holloway House Cafeteria
Oakwood benefitted for many years as the only regional mall on the Westbank of New Orleans. Oakwood survived despite aggressive competition from the Belle Promenade Mall opening in 1983 in direct competition just five miles away. Oakwood expanded and took back their market share and Belle Promenade eventually failed as the mall did not expand. Oakwood gained the Mervyn's anchor in the mid 1980's, and Maison Blanche moved into the mall in the late 1990's just before Mercantile stores was taken over by Dillard's. Maison Blanche had an older store down the Westbank Expressway in the Westside North Shopping Center roughly where the Academy is today. Had Belle Promenade been built as the super regional five anchor mall that the developers anticipated; Oakwood more than likely would have closed and/or been redeveloped into a big box center. The owners of Oakwood took early action in the mid 1980's by expanding the mall to compete with the new Belle Promenade Mall. The New Orleans Centre, Riverwalk, and Canal Place Malls also opened up just across the GNO bridge from Oakwood but for different reasons did not affect the business at Oakwood.
After Belle Promenade died Oakwood was the only mall left on the Westbank again, but another major setback occured in 2005. Oakwood Mall was partially destroyed by looters and a large fire in 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina passed over the city. The mall was partially down down and most of the mall was rebuilt and renovated. Mervyn's which was damaged by the fire never reopened because the company left Louisiana in late 2005. The mall reopened in 2007 although some of the anchors opened up before the mall did. The inside of the mall is much more modern than most current shopping malls and does not have a boring color scheme like many of the newer mall styles of the 1990's and 2000's. In fact the mall has several different colors, and the fountain was retained and improved with a color changing light scheme in the center court.
JCPenney which was built as a Maison Blanche; JCPenney closed at Belle Promenade and opened here a few days after the Belle store closed. When Dillard's took over the Maison Blanche name this store was closed giving JCPenney the opportunity to leave Belle Promenade.
Looking from the Sears/ Mervyn's corridor to the center court fountain.