H Mart Opens in Central Square
H Mart Opens in Central Square
A Game Changer for Central Square Retail
Flat screen TV’s , sleek design, a fresh fish market, prepared foods, exotic produce, sit down food court, and a clean, aesthetically appealing appearance, will make this supermarket a destination for many Cantabrigians and residents from surrounding communities. On Wednesday, lines for Go! Go! Curry! and Sapporo Ramen were out the door. Looks like Central Square finally got its anchor store!
Looking for fresh bread? Paris Baguette sells artisan breads, cakes, pastries and sandwiches. You can even look in the peek-a-boo window to see the bakers hard at work. Handsomely boxed desserts offer quick gifts if you’re on your way to a dinner party. Lattes, coffees and fruit smoothies are available, too!
Decorated cakes are beautifully presented at Paris Baguette.
The fresh fish market sells live fluke and lobster, along with a bevy of other fresh fish.
Hundreds of sauces and marinades, including the ubiquitous Sriracha sauce, line the shelves. A variety of pre-marinated meats are sold by the pound including pork bellies and beef bulgogi. Hard to find produce, like dragon fruit and other Asian fruits and veggies, are offered alongside conventional and organic produce. The store also offers the basic staples like yogurt, milk, juice, etc.
This store is the second H Mart in Massachusetts, the other is located in Burlington. Despite the Cambridge location being much smaller than Burlington’s, the store still offers a wide variety of both food and non-food products, including a plethora of rice cookers, kitchen utensils, basic cleaning products and Asian style dishware. For those who have complained about wanting a store in Central that “you can just buy socks and underwear” in….well, guess what? They even sell men’s underwear (sorry, no socks)!
Located at 581 Mass. Ave. and just steps from the Central Red Line stop, H Mart is an easy destination for pedestrians and T riders. Taking the MBTA is strongly suggested since public parking is extremely limited.
Though billed by the City as a new “neighborhood” supermarket, most people who have been to the H Mart in Burlington, or who have ties to the Asian community, knew this store would attract crowds from Boston and the surrounding communities. With cars idling in front of fire hydrants and in illegal spots, the City will have to come up with some creative ideas to address additional parking needs and step up enforcement of parking restrictions. You can bet area residents will be voicing their concerns!
Parking is available at the Green St. Garage and two nearby city parking lots. Both nearby parking lots have been at 100% capacity since the opening. Deputy Marketing Manager, David Shin, said negotiating talks are ongoing with Intercontinental (manager of a nearby private parking lot) for additional parking to accommodate the store’s customers.
The Cambridge H Mart is clean, sleek, well stocked and very organized. This store will raise the bar, in an already competitive food market, for Central’s three other food markets: Star, Whole Foods and the iconic Harvest Co-Op. How these stores will fare and adjust, only time will tell. Libby’s Liquors was proactive in adapting to the new retail environment; they created a new entrance at the back of their store in order to take advantage of H Mart’s foot traffic and installed a new eatery, due to open soon!