Japanese Grocery Store Seiwa Market - Houston, Texas

In the Chowhound forum was a thread on the Japanese grocery store opening in West Houston last year (Houston Business Journal and Houstonia wrote about it last March). The grocery store is Seiwa Market.

Houston Press wrote about it last week briefly in the opening and closing post, the first local publication to report on the grocery store being named Seiwa Market:

In other grocery news, Seiwa Market is now open at 1801
South Dairy Ashford, and there are plenty of promotions and giveaways to
be had on opening day, which is Friday, April 1. The Japanese grocery
will also have a food court, including a sushi bar and Ichi Ramen Bar.

But the information was wrong due to lazy reporting. Seiwa Market’s Facebook for Houston showed updates for weeks of the California location opening and scrolling through the visitor posts the store replied it’s opening around May. After someone visited the Houston location only to be disappointed by the wrong information Houston Press presented, the author amended the post adding this update:

Updated 4/3/16, 3:505 p.m.: It turns out that Seiwa’s very ambiguous opening announcement was
for its L.A. location, which we only learned after a tip from a
disappointed reader. The grocery said that it anticipates a July opening
for the Houston store.

Seiwa Market’s Houston location is opening at 1801 S Dairy Ashford Rd,
Ste 116 within the Ashford Village Shopping Center.

11,000 sf. Interesting. That’s considerably larger than the Daido Market a couple of miles away. The “Seiwa Market Coming Soon” sign has been up for several months. They keep putting off the opening though. According to rumors, it was supposed to be open a while already.

If they don’t know it yet, they’re going to hate being next to that Comic and Card Shop on some evenings as it generates a LOT of cars in the parking lot.

Fun Fact: A couple of doors down there used to be a Russian bar/restaurant called The Russian Bear. Now THAT was an interesting place.

Houstonia article.

More on Ramen Bar Ichi inside Seiwa Market from the Ramen in Common Facebook group:

[quote] Here’s more about Seiwa Market
in Houston including other restaurants within the food court. There
will be a ramen restaurant, Ramen Bar Ichi. From Google Translate (very
loosely translated):

“Ramen tavern next to the Seiwa Market
It is scheduled to open the “Ramen Bar Ichi (ramen bar one)” in May 2016”

It’s on page 16 and is in Japanese. https://www.jetro.go.jp/.../4a7eb1b76a8e0e00/3_foods.pdf
[/quote]

[quote] Yes this will be in the food court. Still reading but the guy (mr. Oozuka) is talking about
how they are going to have a cook come from Japan to provide authentic
ramen/izakaya experience. Also says they have in mind the possibility of
having a spin off ramen franchise (stand alone restaurant) with
Japanese investor(s) involvement, pending on the success of this ramen
bar/izakaya concept.[/quote]

Here’s a rendering

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Thanks for the update. I’m looking forward to it as it’s in my neighborhood and just down the street from my favorite sushi bar.

Drove by last night to check on the status and it still looks to be a ways off from opening.

Definitely work in progress though.

Stuck my head in the door this morning and asked a couple of fellows banging away at a computer when they planned to open.

End of July.

Straight from the horse’s mouth. They even had some product on the shelves, albeit in unopened boxes.

God. Keep on delaying. They need to get their acts together.

Act together!

For some reason, I can’t post a link here to a specific FB post, but click here and scroll to this morning’s post.

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“Hello! Houston We start organize product to shelf
Try to open end of July! Now we are hiring new team member !
Need passion, Nice smile , interesting for Japanese food,
Let work with us.”

Maybe it will happen afterall.

Opening now scheduled for the end of next week, (first week of August, 2016).

Recent HBJ article.

Is this Japanese grocery store suppose to be awesome?

FTA I linked:

“The experience will be a Japanese culinary education.”

I am just wonder how good it will be. If it is just a Japanese supermarket or maybe something much nicer like the Mitsuwa supermarket. The Mitsuwa supermarket here has a very nice food courts with good quality Japanese foods. You almost never see that in a typical supermarket. There are also Japanese bookstore and Japanese toy store right next to the market.

Here’s a thread about the Seiwa stores in LA from FTC that I found interesting.

I’m gathering the Houston store may be quite different in keeping with the market’s needs.

BTW the F-word bomber is gone from FTC and it’s a good board to read if you want to keep up with LA. I joined but don’t plan to post. We don’t have enough people to keep this board active so no need to split efforts.

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Hopefully they will stock Kewpie!

Or another similar brand.

Soft opening starting tomorrow Friday, August 5, at 10 am until 7 pm.

Two caveats,

They may close early during soft opening.

Cash Only during soft opening.

“Grand Opening” the third or fourth week of August.

いただきます!

Well, I wasn’t the first person through the doors but I was one of the first ten.

Ahead of me, an attractive young woman was filling her cart with candy less than 1 minute after the doors opened. I had to laugh.

It looks great. The vast majority of items are all in Japanese so you’d better have some idea of what you’re looking for.

Yes, they have Kewpie. And ten flavors of KitKats, and frozen gyoza, fresh soba noodles, rice makers, etc. They had some fresh fish and a few sushi rolls. They were still stocking the vegetables, but I saw lotus roots, enoki mushrooms, etc.

It won’t replace my usuals, but is a welcome addition. I bought soy sauce, chili oil and togarashi.

I wasn’t going straight home, so I saved the frozen and refrigerated stuff for another time. I will definitely be going back.

This weekend.

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