A sampling of food items at SGD So Gong Dong Tofu & BBQ.

With the large population of Asian people living in both New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, there’s no doubt that a lot of folks in both of our distribution areas have been excited about the long-awaited opening of the Lotte Plaza Market, the latest link in the largest (with more than a dozen units) chain of Asian supermarkets. 

Well, that wait is about to end, as Lotte (located at 17605 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.) has not only scheduled its Grand Opening to the public for Friday, November 3, at 9 a.m., yours truly got to walk around — and take pictures of all of the departments — at the nearly-finished store shortly before we went to press with this issue. And, even though I’m not Korean or of Asian descent, I am truly excited about this 49,000-sq.-ft. former (and long-vacant) Sweetbay (and Kash N Karry before that) store, which is much more than just another supermarket. 

The interior of a Tous Les Jours bakery at another location. 

Yes, there are massive bags of rice, a huge variety of Ramen noodles and many other Asian staples. But, the thing that got me most excited, as you might expect, is that our Lotte will have at least five different options in it sizable food court (called Eatery Sijang), all of which are serving different Korean cuisine, although there also is a renowned South Korea-owned French bakery chain, called Tous Les Jours. The other food court options, which are sure to be packed every day, include Luna Tea, BB.Q Chicken, SGD So Gong Dong Tofu & BBQ and JAWS Topokki. 

Check the pics on this page for not only under-construction food court pics, but of the fresh seafood, butcher shop, grocery and Lotte’s unique gifts and housewares. For more info, visit LottePlaza.com. — GN 

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