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Inside the Newly Reimagined American Girl Store Dallas

The Brand’s Only Texas Store Remains as Charming — and Nostalgic — as Ever

BY // 03.18.24

Like many millennial women, I was lucky to make a pilgrimage to the first American Girl Doll Store during the early 2000s. The 35,000-square-foot Chicago mecca was a retail destination and a restaurant, modeling an ahead-of-its-time concept that brands like RH (neé Restoration Hardware) would eventually emulate. My memories of that original store are scattered (as are most internet-documented traces of it), but the feeling — a pure rush of girlhood adrenaline — is one I won’t forget. And it was one I experienced again, nearly 20 years later, thanks to the newly reimagined American Girl Store in Dallas’ Shops at Park Lane. 

This isn’t our city’s first brush with AG — far from it. Following the second and third flagship stores in New York and Los Angeles (respectively), American Girl made its Texas debut in 2007 at the Galleria. Several more stores opened across the country in the following years, many of which have closed — including the Houston boutique in Memorial City Mall. Today, American Girl Dallas is one of only eight AG stores in the U.S. and is the only one in Texas. 

dallas american girl store American Girl Cafe. Photo by The Nix Company
A private party space at the new American Girl Store in Dallas. (photo by The Nix Company)

Dallas outposts also remain brick-and-mortar pioneers for the American Girl. The 2007 Galleria store was the first “Boutique and Bistro” concept — a slightly smaller American Girl store compared to the flagships in Chicago and New York. When a release announced the Dallas store would move from the Galleria to The Shops at Park Lane in early 2024, it also detailed a “newly imagined experiential” version of the space, similar to the retail refresh the Los Angeles store underwent in September 2023. The Dallas outpost is the second to debut the brand’s updated look. 

The new 14,720-square-foot store does have a few exclusive elements, however, including an impressive two-story “dollhouse” and a mural by the uber-talented Dear Giana, a 14-year-old local artist and fashion designer. The Dallas store also includes a full-service café with tiered trays of treats and tea sandwiches, as well as a Dolled Up Salon that works wonders for even the most “Weird Barbie”-level coifs. 

dallas american girl store Dear Giana Mural
Dear Giana’s mural is also exclusive to the Dallas American Girl Store.

And for the AG-loving women still holding tight to their copy of The Care and Keeping of You, the second-floor retail section feels like a museum of childhood artifacts. Newer additions, like an extravagant Harry Potter Train to Hogwarts set and a $225 pink-and-rose-gold sports car, fill in the space between displays for Molly, Samantha, Kirsten, Josefina, and the historical like. Decade-devoted dolls now go all the way up to the 1990s, represented by twins Isabel and Nicki. Their Tamagotchis, inflatable purple backrests, and Clueless-inspired ensembles could ignite a rush of pure adrenaline in every millennial girl at heart.

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