|H Mart Cambridge Grand Opening|
Much to my surprise, H Mart Cambridge opened on schedule today. It's been a long wait for H Mart fans and people waiting to try Sapporo Ramen's new Central Square menu and Go Go Curry. The rain may have kept some people away but when I got there around 1pm, it was a madhouse.
|This line wraps around the corner|
Things are pretty disorganized on the Sapporo/Go Go Curry side - there is only one cashier for both so you have to stand in the epicly long line* whether you're ordering ramen, curry, or grabbing take-out sushi. I'm told that the cashier is provided by H Mart so hopefully they'll figure out that doesn't work at all. (Update 4/28/14: H Mart has added an additional cashier although if you go at peak times the line is still long. I'm told that those buying only take out sushi can skip the line.) Oddly enough Paris Baguette had 2 dedicated cashiers & registers though they weren't always there. When I got to the front of the line at Paris Baguette, one cashier wandered away briefly.
* (The line was not as epic as Yume Wo Katare's often is, but it was longer than Sapporo Porter's usually is.)
I didn't have time to stay for lunch or fight the crowds to explore the grocery store so I just took a few pictures, bought a pumpkin cream cheese pastry at Paris Baguette (which sadly, isn't that great) and left. I think it'll be a while until I get there to try Go Go Curry and Sapporo's new menu. Next time I'll have to try the fake Cronut™.
I was surprised that parking wasn't as hard as I expected although I may have just gotten lucky. I found an open spot on Bishop Allen Drive as soon as I crossed Norfolk Street and one empty parking space in the lot. When I left there were several empty spaces in the lot and on the street. If people don't stay long then there will be turnover in spaces, although if you can leave your car at home and take the T that's probably better, especially on weekends. You definitely don't want to drive there on Mondays before 6pm when the Central Square Farmers Market takes over most of Lot 5 (May - November). You can also try Lot 4 at the corner of Bishop Allen and Essex Street but it's really small as is H Mart's private parking lot off Essex Street. There's also Lot 6 near Columbia Street. Note that all pay-by-space parking lots in Central Square require you to pay until 10pm. Meters have to be paid through 6pm.
H Mart's grocery store hours are 7am to midnight but I don't believe the food court will have the same hours. Sapporo and Go Go opened at 11am today, although I don't know if that will be their opening time every day. Neither Go Go Curry nor Paris Baguette have updated their websites with info on the Cambridge location and Sapporo doesn't have a web presence so I couldn't look up the hours. Paris Baguette also serves coffee and other drinks so they may be open all day. (Update 4/25/14: José Garcia of Sapporo Central told me that Sapporo and Go Go Curry's hours are 11am to 9pm daily. I've heard that both have been running out of food early though hopefully they'll sort that out soon.)
Update 5/8/14: I'm told that Sapporo will be reconfiguring their kitchen to make room for another broth pot so hopefully they won't be out as early as they have been since the opening. That will unfortunately result in no more tempura for the maki.
Did anyone get to eat there today? How was it?
Photos from today begin here.
Update 4/25/14: I made it back to explore the grocery store.