Asian Foods Market: When is the store opening?

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — To Kimmy and Jacquie and the dozens of other readers who continue to reach out to the Advance to ask, “Are there any updates on Asian Foods Market opening on Staten Island?” The answer is October, predicts Stuart Waldman, the grocer’s landlord who is developing the […]

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — To Kimmy and Jacquie and the dozens of other readers who continue to reach out to the Advance to ask, “Are there any updates on Asian Foods Market opening on Staten Island?” The answer is October, predicts Stuart Waldman, the grocer’s landlord who is developing the Roman Blum shopping center for the store’s new home.

Asian Foods

Refrigeration and shelving is installed at the soon-coming Asian Foods (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Asian Foods is formerly of Travis. It closed in December 2018 and management simultaneously announced its move to Mariners Harbor in this new complex underway at Forest Avenue between South and Northfield Avenues.

Asian Foods

A view of the shopping complex from Asian Foods, also soon home to a Taco Bell, Burger King, Popeye’s and Teriyaki One Hibachi and Steakhouse (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

There are a handful of restaurants underway around Asian Foods. Waldman says Burger King and its drive-thru will start serving meals in the next few weeks. Shortly thereafter, a Popeye’s will open, followed by a Taco Bell.

Asian Foods

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

WHO WAS ROMAN BLUM?

The Roman Blum Plaza is part of a sprawling tract of land at 2343 Forest Avenue which claims six buildings and 86,250-square-feet. It is named for Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor and real estate developer who had no heirs. The estate was valued at $40 million. The Annadale resident died at 97 in 2012. Land ultimately was distributed through the public administrator’s office.

In late March 2021, an email to the Advance from a woman who identified herself as Teresa Musial from Poland wrote to express her praise for Waldman in his decision to name the plaza after Blum, calling it “a very nice and honest gesture.”

Fight over Roman Blum's fortune

Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor from Poland who lived in Annadale and amassed his wealth as a real estate developer, died in 2012 at the age of 97.

According to the newspaper’s records, Musial was the caretaker of Helena Pietrucha, the latter who, attorneys contended, was Blum’s lover during World War II and the pair were separated in Poland during the Holocaust. Pietrucha died in 1999. Prior Advance articles have chronicled, “Musial was Pietrucha’s caregiver and confidante for over 20 years, and the sole beneficiary of Ms. Pietrucha’s estate, lawyers claim.”

The 2021 email from Musial said, “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 business. May the Lord God take care of him.” Musial expressed her gratitude that “that at least one person” will keep his memory.

Waldman acknowledged the correspondence and told the Advance, “I just did it out of respect for him. I got to meet the man once before.”

Waldman said, “My family was Hungarian and my family was in the same concentration camps as Roman. I thought it would be a nice gesture. I thought no heir, no kids…I thought it was it a nice thing to do.”

He appreciated Musial’s “lovely” gesture by reaching out and said, “I think he would have wanted a shopping plaza there. It’s just a way he can live on. If God helps me a little bit, oversees it, we can have a grand opening celebration soon.”

Waldman also said of the Blum complex: “It will bring a more positive outlook to Mariners Harbor. It will set a better tone for the area. And Roman will be looking down on the community.”

Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

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