There’s an intriguing new supermarket in Amazon land. On Thursday, the Korean grocery chain H Mart debuted its new store, District H, at 101 Terry Avenue, tucked inside a new condo complex on a quiet South Lake Union block. District H is a higher-end offshoot of H Mart, with locations in Korea and Canada — but this is its first US outpost. It joins a growing H Mart empire in Western Washington, including outposts in the U District, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Federal Way, and Lakewood. Another (regular ol’ fashioned) H Mart will finally arrive in downtown Seattle on Second Avenue and Pine Street by the end of September, after years of planning and construction.
Since District H is smaller than the company’s other markets, with a slightly different logo and a sleeker look, casual observers may not even realize its part of the same H Mart family. But inside there are many of the same products that shoppers can find at the non-fancy H Marts, including several varieties of kimchi, Korean snacks, milk teas, produce, and other Asian goods. A quick glance around the store reveals a few upscale products, such as expensive kitchen appliances, pricey chocolates, and premium cuts of meat.
There are also new mini food court options inside the store: a grill station (serving up short ribs, spicy pork, and squid) and a steam station (offering kimchi, beef, and vegetable dumplings), along with some seating for those who want to take a lunch break from shopping. A fairly robust bakery features croissants, buns, and other goods from Tous Les Jours, a South Korean franchise (which is at the Bellevue H Mart as well).
Perhaps the coolest shelf? Socks featuring cartoon versions of Korean boy band BTS. An impulse purchase, no doubt.