The Lab Anti-Mall

The Lab is an anti-mall situated within the city of Costa Mesa. It is a beautiful yet unconventional area that has various retail stores and cafes designed artistically. The reason why it is called “anti-mall” is because it is extremely unique and unlike the huge indoor malls. It is outdoor and artsy, the purpose of it is to fight monotonous, same old shopping malls and attract people who want something new, comfortable and out of the ordinary. It is specifically designed to target people who have an aesthetic sense and are mostly in their 20’s.

Why The Lab Is Different From Traditional Malls

The Lab is not the same as traditional malls for many reasons:

  • It is built within two warehouses, its wooden ceilings are not shiny and furnished like indoor shopping malls. Its floors are cemented rather than marbled to give it a raw, aesthetic appeal.
  • It allows natural light to illuminate most of the retail shops. Outdoor areas built for cafes are perfect to have a cup of coffee or read a book in.
  • It has many stores that sell unique products, each store is one of its kind and individualistic. Main attractions are retail stores such as Urban Outfitters.
  • It has room for arts and crafts such as Jazz concerts and other artistic displays by students. The entire area is photographable with its vintage themed displays.

List Of Stores It Offers

The Lab has multiple stores including clothing shops such as Brands-walk, Prism Boutique, May Martin, Blends + Carve, Urban Outfitters and Sweet Threads. It also has two hair salons: the Crew Salon and the Barber Shop. Along with this, it has eclectic cafés such as Nook Coffee, The Den, Habana and Bootleggers. Their stores sell exclusive items including old Vinyl records and handcrafted jewelry. The entire space is alive with music and art, the vibe is extremely fun, comfortable and hip.

Attractions At The Lab


  1. A Great Hangout Place

If you are bored of hanging out in the same old settings, The Lab may impress you greatly. It is extremely unconventional and hip with extremely cool hangout spots.


  1. Artsy Vibe

When you enter the place, you immediately see displays of art surrounding The Lab. They often feature fashion shows by high school students and the space itself is always designed uniquely each time.

  1. Food And Shops

The food ranges from quick ice cream stops, macaroons or doughnuts to authentic Japanese and vegetarian options. The shops are brilliant for someone who prefers vintage and hip, artsy things over mainstream products.

The Lab is a stunning space with an atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else in Costa Mesa. Every aspect of it is different and appealing, every nook and cranny a sight for sore eyes. If you live within the region, you should definitely mix things up by trying this place out. Tourists are also recommended to visit it because the entire space is Instagram worthy and aesthetic. You will surely find some wonderful souvenirs if you shop from The Lab.