Pasco's Eastside Mart gets new look

Sang H. Lee is giving his Pasco convenience store an extreme makeover.

Eastside Mart, when fully done in the next two months, will have a fresh meat and vegetable market and a restaurant.

It will be a mini market with a gas station, said Lee, who opened the store about four years ago at the intersection of East Lewis Street and Oregon Avenue.

It's a busy corner and business has been good, Lee said.

He expects business to grow at the expanded store, which will offer Tully's Coffee and teriyaki food, said Lee, who worked as a chef in Hawaii about 20 years ago. "I have a picture to prove it," he said jokingly.

Lee also plans to include American food on the menu once the restaurant is up and running.

The old store was about 800 square feet, and the new space measures about 8,000 square feet, said the owner's younger brother, Allen Lee, the general contractor for the project. He also is adding two more fueling islands to bring the number to five, he said.

Allen, who runs Lee's Lucky construction business in Bellevue, said his brother is investing about $1.5 million in the project, which began about three months ago. He said his crews will be working at the site for a few more months.

Sang Lee said he decided to "clean up" the property to make it attractive for shoppers. He is putting a low-tiled ceiling inside the store, he said. Most of his customers are from nearby neighborhoods.

The convenience store and the gas pumps will open for business in about 10 days, Lee said. But the restaurant and the meat and vegetable market may take at least two months while he gets the building ready. He said he's counting on the support of his customers and his business acumen. "I know how to run the business," he said.

-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541;; Business Beat blog at