This past December, Asian-goods store Pearl River Mart announced the upcoming closure of its main location in Tribeca. Although survived by a smaller outpost inside Chelsea Market (a second one at the Museum of Chinese in America closed, alongside the institution itself, during the pandemic), the news about the flagship's imminent closing was met with extreme sadness by all New Yorkers. But we're here to tell you: don't despair! The flagship is officially no longer closing... just moving to Soho.
The new one-story, 6,000-square-foot space is at 452 Broadway, just two blocks away from the original destination at 395 Broadway in Tribeca.
The store's current president and co-owner, Joanne Kwong—who also happens to be Pearl River founder Ming Yi Chen's daughter-in-law (he opened the first store on Catherine Street back in 1971!)—was forced to consider closing the beloved Tribeca destination during the pandemic given her inability to easily meet the rent. After a bit of a search, she landed on a more affordable space in Soho, therefore indefinitely forgoing the idea of a permanent closure.
The new iteration of the destination will be home to the awesome decor finds that you're used to picking up from the Chens while also continuing to be an art gallery, community and event space as well.
"It is painfully ironic that due to the realities of NYC real estate and the ruthlessly increasing costs of running a small business in the city, we’ve had to move the main store five times in our 50-year history, always after serving as a community anchor and helping to build up each respective block," reads a blog post on the store's website announcing the news. Those historical locations include one on Elizabeth Street (1978-1986), an outpost on Grand Street between 1988 and 2004 and their first Broadway address, which they settled into between 2003 and 2016.
Things are clearly looking up for the city. Dare we say a semblance of normalcy is now on the horizon?
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