Friday, July 10, 2020

Cool curiosities at Wilkinsburg's Asian Merchandise.


A Sampo Tri-screen Color TV, released circa 1981-2.

One of the larger Asian groceries in the area is probably its least heralded, at least this century: Asian Merchandise Inc in Wilkinsburg, a multi-floor establishment on Penn Ave. (map) that's gone by Pittsburgh Asian Center, Pittsburgh Asian Market, Asian World, and Ou's International. It's also one of the oldest, moving to its present location in 1981 after operating at 757 Penn Ave. from 1978 to 1981. The owner, Chen-Tu Ou, came to Pittsburgh via Taiwan in 1975.


From the October 1, 1981 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It carries a reasonably decent selection of produce, noodles, snacks, and Asian staples, with elements of a general store thrown in, having started as a wholesale supplier to Asian restaurants that made its name more widely known through the 1980s for selling electronics and Asian videotapes. It still retains evidence of its old catalog in its first floor, with a smattering of old electronics along with books, shoes, and cookware.



Advertisement from the March 11, 1982 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.