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Aug 16, 2009 02:43 PM

Ebisuya Japanese Market in Medford

Stopped by the "Kotobukiya" replacement store today in Medford. They are FAR from open. They have a few shelves in the store and it looks like months of work to me before they can open. The good news though is that the space is really large. There is on-street parking as well as a parking garage.

65 Riverside Ave.
Medford, MA

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    1. Please keep us posted on the progress made and perhaps the opening day!

      1. Once open, a square foot by square foot description (or perhaps aisle by aisle) would be appreciated. Many thanks!

        1. Construction seems to be at a standstill at Ebisuya. That's a shame because the space is rather large. Perhaps the new yet smaller market in Brookline Village may have thrown them off course but I really don't know the story. See attached photos.

          5 Replies
          1. re: robertlf

            Why, are they owned by the same people?

            1. re: galleygirl

              No. Different owners but between a bad economy, competition from HMart and another smaller but decent Japanese market, it must be hard to raise capital and thrive. Again, I don't know the facts, just speculation.

              1. re: robertlf

                I kind of think they're far enough apart that there are different markets....

                1. re: galleygirl

                  Perhaps but I think it's more of different location but same target market. Remember that Brookline used to have a Japanese market near the VW dealer on Rt 9. That went under. Yoshinoya went under. If it weren't for Lesley College's president and Kotobukiya's owner's desire to retire, Kotobukiya was doing well. I don't think the current market climate can support it but will keep hoping....

            2. re: robertlf

              Looking at those pics (thanks for uploading those btw!), it looks the exact same as when I passed by about 2months ago. At this point, I can only speculate that they've had second thoughts. This Ebisuya idea... I just didn't see it working. Downtown Medford is far from any T-stop, and far from where most Japanese people live. The nearest college (Tufts) is at least a mile away. Plus there's Reliable nearby and H-Mart two towns over.

              I really don't see any exclusively Japanese store being viable in Boston unless it's strategically placed near other related things. Kotobukiya was a success because the Japanese businesses in Porter Exchange fed off each other and it anchored a great little Japanese center in a location that was T-accessible and student-filled. So I still think the best option would be if someone decided to lease a smaller space within Porter Exchange and opened a smaller Japanese store.

            3. Mouse makes good points. Girl seems to hit the nail. I don't know about HMart, so can you give a brief description robert? The Porter Sq. operation made little from students. The shoppers that made Kotobukiya succeed came from all around. For instance, we made the trip from Cape Cod every two months to stock up. Yoshinoya was just down the street, so to speak. It cost less and did draw the Japanese student and local Cambridge community. And both thrived. We always shopped at both although the employee smoking at Y was a turn-off for us. Reliable has an insufficient inventory of Japanese foods to please. We really miss the bukiya and hope financial problems have not ended the Ebisuya effort. Robert, the photo update is much appreciated. Ebisuya is a long way from the Cape but open and we'll go!