mall st matthews

Starting Jan. 2, children under the age of 18 will no longer be allowed to visit Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center Friday and Saturday evenings without adult supervision.

Both malls are owned and operated by Chicago-based General Growth Properties.

At 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, mall officials will give kids 17 and younger notice that they have one more hour to shop freely in the mall.

Then at 4 p.m., mall security will begin checking identification at all mall entrances, according to a news release. Anyone 17 and younger must be accompanied by a supervising adult — anyone 21 or older — otherwise they will not be allowed to continue shopping or enter the mall.

“All are welcome at Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center at any time – we simply require that during certain hours, families spend their shopping time together,” David Jacoby, general manager of Mall St. Matthews, said in the release. “Providing a pleasant and comfortable experience for our guests is our top priority.”

In an follow-up interview with Insider Louisville, Jacoby said guards will use their “common sense” when deciding whether or not to card individuals.

The policy change comes after an incident Saturday night at Mall St. Matthews when an undetermined amount of youths were said to be loitering in the mall and starting fights.

St. Matthews Police initially stated 1,000 to 2,000 kids were present but later dialed back that number. In a press conference Wednesday morning, however, police again said the crowd was indeed in the thousands.

Police also were the ones calling for a “Parental Guidance Required” program similar to those at other malls in the United States.

When going through the new security protocol at Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center, those 18 and older will be given the option of wearing a wristband indicating they are adults. Those not wearing a wristband could be stopped and asked to show ID while in the mall.

The new policy also limits entry to four kids per one supervising adult. Parents with more than four children will be required to have another supervising adult present to enter the mall.

“It is hard to supervise that many kids,” Jacoby told IL.

The policy will be enforced on mall sidewalks and in the parking lot as well, the release states.

“We fully support Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center in their decision to implement a temporary PGR program to help provide the best shopping experience for all of their guests,” said St. Matthews Mayor Rick Tonini. “We are all community partners and will be ready to be of assistance, if necessary, to maintain the malls’ policies.”