North Shore Mall Expands: Asian Food Market Nearing Completion, Popeye Opening, and More to Come

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Asian Foods store will be cooking on gas – literally – as soon as the pipelines are installed in the Mariners Harbor shopping complex in which the future grocer is located. The work at 2343 Forest Ave. are finally underway since Monday, February 21, said store manager Jonathan Chan.

“We do not have [opening] date still set as we still don’t have gas in our store,” Chan said. Although he hopes that while National Grid finalizes the works, other tasks will be completed – finalizing the installation of equipment and the storage of shelves – leading to a large opening.

Where the produce area will be at Asian Foods. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

In the meantime, Chan spoke about what the Staten Islanders can expect from his operation, moved from his original home in Travis by the Department of Motor Vehicles. It closed in December 2018. Asian Foods management then announced its move to Mariners Harbor in the Roman Blum shopping complex currently underway on Forest Avenue between South and Northfield Avenues.

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A pharmacy is located next to Asian Foods. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

This new take on Asian food at Mariners Harbor will have bins of produce as customers enter the building. To the left and further back, there will be a ready-to-go section with no seating options. This staffed department will run along the back wall of the market in the fishmonger’s area. In the middle of the 10,000 square foot space will be shelves for dry goods – rice, fish sauce, soy sauces and paraphernalia particular to Japanese, Vietnamese and South Asian cuisine.

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Popeye’s will be the first restaurant in Roman Blum Plaza. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Ongoing for seven years now, the sprawling Mariners Harbor shopping complex at Mariners Harbour, Roman Blum Plaza, will also see a Popeye’s and Burger King, both with sit-down and drive-through options. The opening of Popeye’s is imminent and will be the first restaurant to open in the project. Finally, a Taco Bell, the Chinese barbecue restaurant “OK” and a sushi restaurant will be there. A Pharmacy and Phoenix Salon are also in development.

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A look at the digital menu board at Popeye’s (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Waldman’s largest building project to date, the Roman Blum Plaza is part of a sprawling lot with its six buildings and 86,250 square feet of retail space. It is named after Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor and real estate developer who had no heirs. His estate had been valued at $40million and when the Annadale resident died aged 97 in 2012, his land was sold through the public administrator’s office.

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Roman Blum Plaza is named after the late landowner and Staten Islander who was a Holocaust survivor with no heirs. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri0

The legacy continues with a sitter, Teresa Musial. Musial was the guardian of Helena Pietrucha, the latter who lawyers say was Blum’s World War II lover and the couple were separated in Poland during the Holocaust. Pietrucha died in 1999.

Previous Advance articles have chronicled, “Musial was Pietrucha’s caretaker and confidant for more than 20 years, and the sole beneficiary of Mrs. Pietrucha’s estate, attorneys allege.”

The 2021 email to Advance directly from Musial read, “I thank Mr. Waldman and his company with great respect and appreciation for honoring the late Roman.”

She also noted, “Please also convey on my behalf to Mr. Waldman and his company wishes for fruitful work and happiness in this endeavour. May the Lord God take care of him. Musial expressed his gratitude that “at least one person” is keeping his memory alive.

Pamela Silvestri is editor-in-chief of Advance Food. She can be reached at [email protected].