Shopping centers have been filling vacant spaces with entertainment options including fun restaurants and flashy bowling alleys, to keep shoppers coming back as the economy recovers. "Entertainment is one of the things that customers will continue to spend on," said shopping-center consultant Bruce Katz. "It's experiential -- something you can do with the whole family -- without being expensive. We're seeing this different category from the discretionary merchandise that heretofore has been filling our malls."

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