The wildly popular Korean market with restaurants inside, H Mart, is already expanding in San Francisco.
The New Jersey-based chain opened its doors here in 2021, after opening two locations in San Jose. San Francisco’s H Mart is in Oceanview Village Shopping Center, at the edge of Ingleside Heights, on Alemany Boulevard off of Interstate 280.
The Business Times reports the chain plans to take over the adjacent space that was left vacant when a 24 Hour Fitness shut down two years ago. The construction and development manager for that shopping center, Michael Mossman, says the store will have a “completely new buildout” by the time it’s done with its expansion. The additional space will bring the SF location from 47,000 square feet to almost 75,000 square feet.
H Mart sells hard-to-find Asian snacks and ingredients, and includes a food court. The San Francisco location’s food court has a variety of popular Korean eateries with food that will transport you across the Pacific. Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup serves up traditional Korean stews and braised beef short ribs that can be customized with sauces, spice, and add-ons. Left Wing Bar, specializing in Korean spicy fried chicken and beer, has nearly 400 locations across South Korea, and now has one in San Francisco’s H Mart. Paris Baguette, another Korean favorite, is also at the store, and describes itself as a “neighborhood bakery café” that has cakes and other treats.
Mossman told the Business Times he’s “excited to see H Mart offer a wider selection,” saying the store “continues to be a popular destination.”
The movement into the 24 Hour Fitness will increase the size of the space by more than 50%, bringing the H Mart’s total square footage of the store from 47,000 to 74,168, SFGate reports. That includes a ground floor, basement levels, and extra parking.
It isn’t just the size of the store that’s growing, it’s grown in notoriety too. Michelle Zauner, the vocalist and songwriter of alt-pop band Japanese Breakfast, published a New Yorker piece that expanded into a full-length memoir titled Crying in H Mart, and it reached the New York Times’ best seller list and stayed there for 40 weeks.
H Mart says its mission is to offer superior products.
"If that means we have to get our fish from the Fulton Fish Market, we do it," the store's website says. "If it means we have to negotiate directly with farmers, it's done. If it means we have to go out of our way, and bend over backwards for the best price, it's just not a problem. So when the time comes to make that "magical" meal... we think your ingredients had better be, better than the best."
Mossman did not offer a timeline for the new construction or information on any approvals for renovation plans.