More than a year ago, the Courier Post announced that Hung Vuong Food Market would be ‘coming soon’ to the long vacant Shop Rite at the corner of Brace Road and Haddonfield-Berlin Road. The shopping center, otherwise known as Brace Road Station, had been struggling without an anchor store, and the few shops remaining in the center were hopeful that the new arrival would bring more customers. According to the article, the market was targeting an opening of late 2019 or early 2020. There has not been any news regarding the shopping center since that time.
I drove out to the center a few times over the last couple weeks to see what I could learn. Many of the windows are covered, so its difficult to see what is going on inside.
The leasing company responsible for the site is Metro Commercial. They have the site plan below on their website.
The sitemap has the storefronts 5,6,7,8,9,10,11 all leased by Hung Vuong Small Shop. And many of those storefronts (along with store #2) have ‘Coming Soon’ signs in them with a restaurant name. The signs are all very similar, with the color scheme and ‘Coming Soon’ font identical. It should be noted, however, that most of the new stores do not yet have building permits posted, so the store fronts are still empty. The site plan shows no vacancies in the center (except for an unbuilt, proposed freestanding building in the parking lot.)
Starting from the top of the map is Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, a store that has been there for many years. At store #2, right next to Sherwin Williams, there are signs up for Jia Mei Chu Shang Hot Pot. I couldn’t find anything for this particular restaurant in Google, and I have never been to a ‘Hot Pot’ restaurant, so I can’t really speak to what it is. Wikipedia describes it as “a Chinese cooking method, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of East Asian foodstuffs and ingredients.” Sounds yummy! While this store has a demolition permit posted dated on October 2019, there is no building permit.
Store #3 has a sign noting the space is available for lease, even though the site map shows it as ‘Hung Vuong Food Market’.
Store #4 is the big ‘Asian market’ Hung Vuong Supermarket. Unfortunately the windows are papered up, so I couldn’t see what was going on inside. The front doors were open, however, though all I could see were empty shelves, much like any supermarket would have. Whether they were new shelves, or old ones left over from ShopRite, I am uncertain. There were definitely construction and electrical crews inside working in there, and there is also a ‘Now Hiring’ sign posted!
Stores 5, 6 and 7 are empty with no signs or permits.
Store # 8 has a sign for Kung Fu Tea – Coming Soon. Kung Fu Tea is a chain of Bubble Tea shops, which already has a presence in Cherry Hill on Haddonfield Road. The website notes that the new Brace Road location is ‘coming soon’, and unlike the other Cherry Hill location, it has a split logo on the Kung Fu Tea website. While it is very difficult to read, the top half of the logo says ‘TKK Fried Chicken’. The store will be split between TKK Fried Chicken and Kung Fu Tea. TKK describes itself as a Taiwanese chain of fried chicken restaurants that has been in business for 40 years. Their first US shop was opened in partnership with Kung Fu Tea in New York City in 2018. The chicken mixes ‘the bold flavors of the East with the juicy golden crispy techniques of the West….One bite and you’ll say “Cluck yeah!”’
Store #9 has a sign for Dim Sum Mania – Coming Soon. The logo is identical to Dim Sum Mania located in Media, PA. DSM did not return my queries, but it would appear that this will be a second location for their business. Their menu can be view at http://dimsummania.com/.
Store #10 has a sign for Kokoro Ramen – Coming Soon.
Store #11 has a multiple signs for Brother Seafood Restaurant. Aside from the Supermarket, this is the only store with building permits posted in the window. It is also the only store with a sign up on the building façade, which was just installed last month. The inside has what appears to be a new tile floor, but is completely empty otherwise.
So it may be coming soon, but it still has a lot of work to be done. Hopefully this shopping center will soon be a hub of activity.
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