Beloved Japanese grocery store Asahi Imports is opening a second location on South Lamar. The new location will open at 3500 South Lamar Boulevard in the Barton Hills neighborhood sometime at the end of September or early October.
Like the original store on Burnet Road, Asahi Imports offers over 30,000 Japanese items as well as prepared food like onigiri and bento boxes. (Owner Sally Matsumae started offering onigiri at the cash register in 2013, and the program took off as the store expanded; currently leading that team is Masumi Jones.) The new store continues to offer an impressive array of pantry items, including 30 different kinds of rice, 20 kinds of miso, dumplings, soups, produce, and 100 kinds of sake and beer.
Matsumae’s grandmother opened Asahi originally in North Loop in 1967. Matsumae relocated the shop to Burnet in 2003. “We’ve had so many requests from customers over the past years — over the past decades, actually — for us to have a south location,” Matsumae says. “I also feel like there’s not a lot of choices for ethnic market shopping in South Austin. I’m so lucky right now to have a solid team that can help with expanding, and despite being in what seems to be a neverending pandemic, the timing is right for us.”
Like the north location, the south location of Asahi Imports will offer in-person shopping, online grocery orders, an “onigiri hotline” for call-ahead onigiri orders, and home delivery.
Update, September 16, 1:45 p.m.: This article, originally published on September 14, has been updated to correct where the original Asashi was located.