My friend and fellow Derm-blogger Joe has long talked about the string of international grocers near the old South Square, most particularly in the 70s/80s mall-sprawl on the eastern side of University Dr. by Saladalia, Eastern Lights, and whatever that Indian restaurant's name is this month.
Now they're getting some locally-owned competition in big-box format -- literally.
The death of Linens 'n Things and Circuit City left more gaps in most shopping center owners' portfolios than Gordie Howe had in his smile at the end of his NHL career. And that's notably true of Westgate Plaza, whose sole major long-term retail tenant remaining (Toys 'R Us) looks like a raggedy tooth hanging from a senior prepping himself for dentures.
Circuit City moved out when the Richmond, Va. retailer wound down operations, while Ashley's Home Furniture is closing its location in that plaza, too.
But N&O retail maven Sue Stock reports in today's edition that the owner of a City of Oaks international grocery is getting ready to take over the Circuit City space:
Owner Li Zhang also owns the A&C Supermarket on South Wilmington Street in Raleigh, but at just under 50,000 square feet, this new store will be much bigger.
Zhang will stock fresh produce and seafood, and products for Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. There will also be an international food court and coffee shop inside.
Triangle blogger Meg has a tour of the Wake County store on her blog complete with photos, finding A&C not too bad a place to shop (though preferring Cary's Grand Asia instead.)