STATEN ISLAND, NY — After four years of transitioning from a former home in Travis, still the number one question for food editor Advance/SILIVE.com: “When will Asian Foods open in Mariners Harbor?”
This wonderment comes from natives of Thailand, those with roots in various Asian countries and the Indian subcontinent, Caribbean cooks, professional chefs and others looking to source authentic international ingredients.
Satisfying the cross-cultural curiosity of those waiting for Mariners Harbor Market to open, owner Jonathan Chan said, “We will try to get everything done by the end of this month. Once we are clear, we will open in four weeks. Whether or not there is a traditional lion dance to commemorate the store’s opening will be determined closer to the opening day, Chen said.
For now, the Roman square in which the store is making its new one-day home, other stores and restaurants are set to debut. Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is hiring for its drive-thru and sit-down format. Burger King’s pickup display case is up and he’s waiting for furniture to populate his dining room.
A fun thing for fans of the Whopper experience: this franchise location offers a bit of humor with a bar that measures the height of a vehicle. He notes, “Easiest limbo game ever. 9′0″ clearance.
Next to the colloquially named “BK Lounge” will be a Taco Bell. Owner Stuart Waldman says Chinese barbecue, hibachi and sushi are other genre food vendors for the 2343 Forest Avenue shopping complex.
Signs for other stores are in place, including those for a family discount and homeware crafts and party furniture. The new MB&T Pharmacy is one of Asian Foods’ immediate neighbors.
TURNING LANES AND TRAFFIC FLOWS
The 86,250 square foot lot known as Roman Plaza between Northfield and South Avenue faces Forest Avenue with access from every street. There are four entrances and exits, including two from South Avenue and a main entrance from Forest Avenue. A traffic light is provided for Northfield and Forest and there will be a center turn lane from Forest.
Waldman expects high volume to the center due to its food mainstays and small businesses. Afterwards, he planned what he calls “Staten Island’s best outing.”
The square itself is named after the late Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor and real estate developer who had no heirs. the the estate was valued at $40 million. The Annadale resident died aged 97 in 2012. The land was eventually distributed by the public administrator’s office.
Waldman received widespread praise for keeping the mall’s name in honor of Blum. In fact, Teresa Musial from Poland wrote to express her praise for Waldman in her selection of nicknames, calling it “a very kind and honest gesture.”
As for opening restaurants and storefronts, Waldman says his biggest development project yet.
Pamela Silvestri is editor-in-chief of Advance Food. She can be reached at [email protected].