The West 70s of Manhattan is the gold coast of grocery stores, with a Fairway, Citarella and Trader Joe’s a stone’s throw away from each other – and now, another heavy-hitter has entered the equation: H Mart. (Thanks to Leo for the tip.)
We’re told an outpost of the cult-favorite Korean-style chain is headed to 210 Amsterdam Avenue (between West 69th and 70th streets) to replace the storefront left vacant by Rite Aid, which shuttered in November 2021 and has since closed its last store in the neighborhood.
ILTUWS has exclusively confirmed the 9,412-square-foot retail space was leased to H Mart a few months ago. An official opening date has not been disclosed, but we received an estimate of “late summer,” as “building a supermarket is a huge job.”
The mega-market, founded in Queens in 1982, has eyed major metropolitan area expansion in recent years with branches opening in Flushing, Long Island City and East Rutherford, New Jersey since July 2022. Most recently, it was announced they found a new home on the Upper East Side in January after purchasing a retail condo at 223 East 86th Street for $8.7 million (which is reported to open within six months pending construction and improvements). As of now, the closest location in Manhattan is slightly uptown at 2828 Broadway (and 110th Street) on the ground floor of a Columbia University residential building.
It’s safe to say the love affair between New Yorkers and H Mart is the real deal, as they’re routinely praised for their impossible-to-find snack selection, authentic Korean specialities and (of course) array of instant ramen options which consistently trump the competition.
H Mart has already been immortalized in Crying in H Mart, the 2021 memoir by indie pop band Japanese Breakfast’s lead vocalist, Michelle Zauner. The critically acclaimed book spent a whopping 60 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.
H Mart’s annual revenue is listed as $1.2 billion.