Inauguration of Asian Foods: it’s happening this spring, for sure

Inauguration of Asian Foods: it's happening this spring, for sure

STATEN ISLAND, NY — After four years of transitioning from a former home in Travis, still the number one question for food editor Advance/ “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.

Upon entering Asian Foods, you are greeted by the bakery and prepared meals department. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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.

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

An aisle leading to the frozen aisle (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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.

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

Burger King with a sense of humor (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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.

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

What Burger King will look like at the Roman Plaza (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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.

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The shopping complex has four entrances and exits. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)


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.”

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The upcoming new business notice board in Roman Plaza (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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].

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The nearby Asian Foods pharmacy (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

Asian Foods and Gerardi (Staten Island Advance / Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The seafood department prepares to open (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

Benches of freezers sit amid dry goods, aisles waiting for inventory supply. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The dairy section before it was stocked (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The produce section at the entrance to Asian Foods (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods and Gerardi's

The tour ends with a stop at the cash desk (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)