Monroe Mall was a long grassy area in Heartside-Downtown. In the early 2000s, the Mall was paved and became the road that is now known as Monroe Center. This area of town could effectively be referred to as Grand Rapids's "Town Square" in summer months, as it was host to a variety of special events, including WLAV's Blues on the Mall, and a portion of the annual Festival of the Arts.
The street that became Monroe Mall (and subsequently Monroe Center) once bristled with youthful energy and was the site of dragraces. Some suggest that the destruction of the street to create a pedestrian mall was a response to these races and their associated rowdiness.
The Monroe Mall's amphitheater was host to several of the City's summer outdoor concert series. While most spectators crowded around the stage at the Northwestern end of site, many youth, particularly GR Punx, chose to stay on the Mall's many grassy knolls drinking alcohol from over-sized Subway Sandwich cups. As a result, this area of the Mall was often referred to as "Hardcore Hills" or "Punk Rock Hill".
The sociological structure of Hardcore Hills was not unlike that of a high school cafeteria.