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LeeLee Market also in northwest Tucson? Soon?

EWSflash Oct 7, 2008 07:43 PM

A friend called me recently saying she'd just seen a sign that said a new LeeLee Market was coming soon in Tucson. I don't remember where she said she was caling from (she was in the car coming home), but I remember it was on the way far northwest side. Does anybody know where that is, and when they'll open?

  1. ipsedixit Oct 7, 2008 10:01 PM

    The Tucson Lee Lee Oriental market will be at La Cholla Plaza at La Cholla Boulevard and Orange Grove Road.

    The location used to have a Food-4-Less.

    I believe the target date is Winter 2009.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      lawyerbriefs Oct 8, 2008 01:55 PM

      Is this the same outfit that's located at Dobson and ? in Chandler. The one with the amazing Asian sandwiches.

      1. re: lawyerbriefs
        yamalam Oct 8, 2008 05:25 PM

        No that's Lee's Sandwiches. Lee Lee's is an Asian supermarket.

        1. re: yamalam
          ipsedixit Oct 8, 2008 07:59 PM

          Yeah, but you know, if you buy the right ingredients at Lee Lee you could make yourself a pretty darn good sandwich, including a banh mi ...

        2. re: lawyerbriefs
          werewolf Feb 1, 2009 04:50 PM

          Lee Lee's market is actually right across the road from Lee's sandwiches on Dobson and Chandler.

        3. re: ipsedixit
          werewolf Oct 9, 2008 12:19 PM

          Yes, I passed the location last week and saw it under construction. Winter '09 could be as early as January. I think it's great that LL is coming here. I hope it's comparable to the giant one in Mesa. I remember LL when it was just a small store on Dobson and Southern.

        4. EWSflash Dec 28, 2008 03:50 PM


          1. w
            werewolf Feb 1, 2009 04:54 PM

            Stopped by the proposed Lee Lee site on Orange Grove in Tucson today. It looks the same as it did months ago with the same "opening soon" banner hanging over what appears to be a dormant boarded up supermarket.

            2 Replies
            1. re: werewolf
              EWSflash Feb 2, 2009 11:22 AM

              Darn- I hope they haven't shelved their plans due to the economy.

              1. re: EWSflash
                werewolf Feb 4, 2009 05:32 PM

                I saw the inside today. It's gutted and they were doing some industrial sized exterminating. If it's ever going to open, which I doubt, it won't be soon.

                Meanwhile, have you tried Grantstone Market? It's improved and it's quite a large sized Asian market now. They have stuff that even the giant Lee Lee's in Mesa doesn't.

            2. mrbigshotno.1 Feb 5, 2009 01:52 PM

              This will be great! I've used G&L Imports on 22nd east of swan for 30 years. Have to check out GrantStone, was there about 10 years ago, not too impressed. 17th St. farmers market is OK. Anyone been to Uwajimaya in Seattle? Now there's the benchmark. Anyhow, welcome Lee Lee to the Old Pueblo!

              9 Replies
              1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                werewolf Feb 6, 2009 11:12 AM

                I go to G&L sometimes, too. I didn't know it was there that long, but then it is a very old fashioned looking place. Grantstone is too. And 17th St is the third Asian market that I know about here, and that's about it. None of them are even remotely in the same league when it comes to fresh foods - meats, fish, vegetables, etc. - as Lee Lee's - or the 99 Ranch Market (not sure if it's still called that) up in Phoenix. Never been to that place in Seattle. The mecca of Asian markets for me is Orange County, CA, restaurants, too.

                1. re: werewolf
                  EWSflash Feb 6, 2009 05:44 PM

                  I couldn't agree more about the variety and prices at Lee Lee. I do love Grantstone market, as they carry my favorite canned oolong and green teas by the case cheaper than anybody in town, They're a big step up from the first time I went there about ten or fifteen years ago- I turned around at the door and left. Glad they've come around.
                  G&L is close to my home and is the place that caused me to fall in love with Asian market lurking. I've lurked in most of them since then, Kimpo market is very close to my house, and I like those folks. Moan's is a little creepy but they have stuff nobody else does and they seem to be able to get around Customs somehow.

                2. re: mrbigshotno.1
                  firecracker Feb 7, 2009 03:34 PM

                  I've been to Uwajiaya, mrbig. It's terrific. If you can dream it, they have it on their shelves!

                  1. re: firecracker
                    werewolf Feb 14, 2009 04:33 PM

                    Is Uwaj. bigger than Lee Lee in Mesa?

                    Orange Cty. CA has one giant Asian market after another - and the fresh fruits and vegetables and seafood are awesome.

                    Just stopped by G & L yesterday. Interesting place. They have a lot of stuff, all crowded together, a lot like Grantstone.

                    I never heard of Kimpo and Moans.

                    And here's the latest inside poop on Lee Lee Tucson: It's scheduled to open in June.

                    1. re: werewolf
                      ipsedixit Feb 14, 2009 11:22 PM

                      Uwajiaya is about the size of Mitsuwa in Torrance. Same general layout as well.

                      1. re: werewolf
                        EWSflash Feb 22, 2009 07:52 AM

                        Cool! How did you find that out, if I may be so bold as to ask?

                        Kimpo = 1 block east of craycroft on 5th Street
                        Moan's = near the south end of the strip mall on the southwest corner of Craycroft and 29th.
                        There are a couple of other Asian markets right close by oan's, too.

                        1. re: EWSflash
                          werewolf Mar 5, 2009 06:33 PM

                          Here's the latest poop straight from Mr Lee himself: The Tucson Lee Lee is scheduled to open up around June and it will be the same size and layout as the giant one in Mesa, and it will include a restaurant.

                          1. re: werewolf
                            mrbigshotno.1 Mar 6, 2009 03:51 AM

                            And that be some good poop my man! Que Bueno!

                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                              EWSflash Mar 14, 2009 12:31 PM

                              Darn right it be some good poop- it be some GREAT poop!

                              Thanks, Werewolf.

                  2. Cuppys May 20, 2009 08:12 AM

                    Looks like late June or early July now.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Cuppys
                      EWSflash May 24, 2009 03:47 PM

                      DOH! Well, at least they arent putting things on hold entirely.

                      1. re: EWSflash
                        mrbigshotno.1 May 24, 2009 04:52 PM

                        Everything will be fine about mid September, don't worry. How many things ever got off the ground on time? Considrer ourselves lucky they are here!

                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                          firecracker May 25, 2009 12:28 AM

                          Absolutely, MrBig! If it contributes to diversity of tastes and understanding of cultures, it's a good thing. A little delay doesn't mean anything in this economy!

                          1. re: firecracker
                            EWSflash May 25, 2009 01:34 PM

                            I agree completely- didn't mean to sound ungrateful at all. I'm SO glad to have a LeeLee in Tucson (Marana?), and really thrilled that they're able to pull it off .

                    2. w
                      werewolf Jun 22, 2009 09:00 PM

                      Still under construction. Appears to be a couple of months away from opening.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: werewolf
                        EWSflash Jun 24, 2009 07:49 PM

                        As always, Werewolf, I thank you for the update..

                      2. b
                        bb4226 Aug 6, 2009 07:04 AM

                        Today's AZ Daily Star says Lee Lee Market will open in Tucson later this month. Here's the link to the article: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/85704/303...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bb4226
                          werewolf Aug 15, 2009 10:12 PM

                          Update: Opens in about two weeks. Either the last week in August or the first week in September.

                          1. re: bb4226
                            pookie2 Aug 20, 2009 05:11 PM

                            Dropped by Lee Lee's last week and spoke with one of their supervisors. She is "hoping" to be open in about one month. Some of the shelves were stocked, they still need an "inspection for the electrical". Crossing my fingers!

                            1. re: pookie2
                              EWSflash Aug 21, 2009 07:08 PM

                              You and me both, pookie2...

                          2. Cuppys Sep 22, 2009 09:50 AM

                            They now have all the dry goods stocked. They are telling me October 15th now.

                            22 Replies
                            1. re: Cuppys
                              EWSflash Sep 22, 2009 02:09 PM

                              Thank you for the update, Cuppys

                              1. re: EWSflash
                                justjoe Oct 18, 2009 10:51 PM

                                Same ol "opening soon" sign still up. How long has it been up now? At least a year. How long does it generally take to open an ordinary new supermarket?.

                                1. re: justjoe
                                  Sid Post Oct 19, 2009 07:51 PM

                                  The economic slowdown probably has negatively impacted their opening date. It takes a lot of money to open a new supermarket, especially the first one in town.

                                  1. re: Sid Post
                                    justjoe Oct 19, 2009 09:02 PM

                                    Does Tucson even have a big enough Asian population to support such a store, the same size as the giant one in Mesa? I'd hate to see it finally open and then be mostly empty - and if that was the case it wouldn't be profitable for them to supply it with all the fresh foods that make the ones up north so good, and that would be a vicious cycle reducing the business even more.

                                    1. re: justjoe
                                      EWSflash Oct 23, 2009 08:38 PM

                                      Try to think positive thoughts, and paronize it regularly. I'm not Asian and I plan to go there a couple of times a month, and I live at Speedway and Wilmot. I've noticed that GrantStone market has been trying to spiff the place up lately.

                                      I think there's a big enough bunch of foodies ( you should excuse the epression) in general to support Lee Lee.

                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                        DriverPhil Oct 27, 2009 04:13 PM

                                        According to Pima county there are more than seventeen thousand Asians residing in the county. Since Lee Lee attracts more than just Asians, based on what we see at the Chandler store, there should be enough customers to fill the aisles.

                                        1. re: DriverPhil
                                          justjoe Oct 27, 2009 08:10 PM

                                          Here's the latest: Opening in three weeks.

                                          1. re: justjoe
                                            EWSflash Nov 1, 2009 03:42 PM

                                            I sure hope so- I starte this thread over a year ago.

                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                              justjoe Nov 3, 2009 07:10 AM

                                              It's getting ridiculous. If Lee Lee is having second thoughts about opening here maybe Mekong Plaza Market, Mesa, AZ could move in instead. I like that new market better than Lee Lee.

                                              1. re: justjoe
                                                DriverPhil Nov 11, 2009 02:45 PM

                                                Stopped in yesterday. They claim to waiting for final electrical inspections. Opening in "two weeks".

                                                Where have we heard that before?

                                                1. re: DriverPhil
                                                  justjoe Nov 16, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                  Stopped by today. "Opening in 2 or 3 weeks". But now there are shopping carts lined up out front!

                                                  1. re: justjoe
                                                    DriverPhil Nov 20, 2009 03:38 PM

                                                    Checked it out today. They now have permanent signs on the building, so a small step forward.

                                                    1. re: DriverPhil
                                                      EWSflash Nov 21, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                      I'm glad to have you checking and reporting regularly, DriverPhil and justjoe, and so are most of my coworkers that live on the east side.

                                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                                        justjoe Nov 22, 2009 05:56 AM

                                                        It's supposed to be the exact same size as the giant one in Mesa, plus with a restaurant. That's what the owner told me last year. If it does draw the crowds that Mesa draws, and I doubt that it will, will the parking here be adequate? And if it doesn't draw big crowds how long will they continue stocking it with fresh fish and meats and vegetables and other perishables, and if they don't do that we'd do just as well with the three medium sized Asian markets we already have here in Tucson.

                                                        1. re: justjoe
                                                          EWSflash Nov 22, 2009 09:33 AM

                                                          Three is better than two, that's all I'll say, and try to remain optimistic.

                                                          1. re: justjoe
                                                            DriverPhil Nov 23, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                            The restaurant, looking in the window as we drive by, is nowhere near completion. However, Ikkyu, a Japanese restaurant in the same strip mall, is pretty darn good. http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/hi...

                                                            2040 W Orange Grove Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704

                                                            1. re: DriverPhil
                                                              bb4226 Nov 24, 2009 06:50 PM

                                                              Lee Lee's web site now says the Tucson "grand opening" is scheduled for the 2nd week of December.

                                                              1. re: bb4226
                                                                justjoe Nov 25, 2009 06:50 AM

                                                                What's the link to their website?

                                                                1. re: justjoe
                                                                  bb4226 Nov 25, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                  Check postings in their Guestbook for updates on the Tucson opening.

                                                              2. re: DriverPhil
                                                                pookie2 Dec 9, 2009 07:22 AM

                                                                Just called Lee Lee's today regarding their grand opening. I was told that they will open "hopefully in three weeks". I guess I will have to make the drive up to Chandler for my groceries : ( . I guess they are shooting for 2010 grand opening ( I wonder what the delay is)

                                                                1. re: pookie2
                                                                  justjoe Dec 16, 2009 08:30 AM

                                                                  "We will be opening on Wednesday December, 23. Thank you very much for your continuing support."


                                                                  1. re: justjoe
                                                                    justjoe Dec 23, 2009 04:21 PM

                                                                    Amazing! It's open now!

                                                                    The downside is as I had feared - today, opening day, a weekday afternoon, when most people still didn't even know about it, the parking lot was already filled up. Parking is inadequate. I suppose the other businesses in that mall won't be happy about this either.

                                2. EWSflash Dec 23, 2009 05:03 PM

                                  You know what? My husband went there today- without me. I told him he was a big horrible turd for taking it all in without me there, but in reality I was extremely jealous. I may go there to do some last-minute Christmas shopping.

                                  I'm still bitter he went there without me, though.

                                  Oh, BTW- he said it was awesome. Fabulous. The biggest meat department ever.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                    justjoe Dec 23, 2009 05:10 PM

                                    Well, that's not fair, EWS, since you're the one who started this thread over a year ago!

                                    1. re: justjoe
                                      EWSflash Dec 23, 2009 05:17 PM

                                      I know, I know! Absolutely unfair. It's good to be validated, thank you.

                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                        justjoe Dec 23, 2009 05:39 PM

                                        You're welcome. Did he say if he had trouble parking? It's probably much worse right now.

                                        1. re: justjoe
                                          EWSflash Dec 23, 2009 05:51 PM

                                          He says he got lucky and got a good spot up front. Sometimes the magic works...

                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                            justjoe Dec 23, 2009 05:57 PM

                                            How does it compare with the Chandler store? It was supposed to be the same size. Is there a restaurant inside, and is it open?

                                            1. re: justjoe
                                              EWSflash Dec 23, 2009 06:37 PM

                                              Seems to be the same size, he said. The guy in the middle of the Chandler store selling the cooked goods ( I remember seeing smoked ducks and so forth) isn't there, at least yet. The restaurant isn't open yet, there are two little stores inside to the right, like in Chandler, although I don't know if they're the same kind of stores. According to him the layout is very similar, but he was only in the Chandler store once.

                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                justjoe Dec 23, 2009 07:31 PM

                                                Roast ducks.

                                                When I spoke to the owner a few months ago he told me it would be the exact same size and layout as the Chandler store. I wish they had had the foresight to put it in a bigger mall, though. Then the entire mall might have evolved into an Asian shopping area, like in Chandler, with some good Asian restaurants, something that Tucson sorely lacks, because most of the existing Asian restaurants here range from bad to worse.

                                                1. re: justjoe
                                                  justjoe Dec 25, 2009 05:07 PM

                                                  Stopped by today. They tell me it's the same size as the Chandler store, but it only looks half as big to me...? It's not totally finished yet. There is an attached Vietnamese restaurant that is still not open, same as Chandler. Hopefully it will be a good one. Also an attached Chinese BBQ that is likewise not yet open. One thing that I thought was a silly waste of space was that they have one entire isle devoted to Mexican food, but bigger selections of Mexican food are already all over the place in Tucson. The meats and fish and vegetables all looked very fresh, as of course they should since the place has only been open for two days, and they always look very fresh in Chandler too.

                                  2. EWSflash Dec 27, 2009 07:58 AM

                                    Went there Thursday. It's great, with a frozen seafood assortment that this town has likely never seen before. The produce is fantastic, the place is clean and well-stocked. I reined myself in and still spent a bundle there. Their prices appear to be very good.

                                    1. s
                                      Saguaro Feb 15, 2010 03:16 PM

                                      They had Yozu juice in a 5 oz bottle something I had been looking for for a year.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Saguaro
                                        Spot Feb 16, 2010 11:55 AM

                                        Okay, so I'll be visiting the Tucson area in a couple weeks, am planning some meals, and am wondering whether I can count on picking up 2 or 3 roasted ducks for an easy dinner. Do they have them available, now? Would I need to call ahead and reserve them?

                                        1. re: Spot
                                          Pepper K. Pepper May 31, 2010 05:49 PM

                                          They totally have roasted ducks ready to go. There are usually four hanging up when I go, plus a variety of other roasted meats. You can also get a small plate of duck and rice.

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