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Sardine Seller Lands in Times Square

Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines hopes to make a splash in tourist zone

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Credit: istock/vdvornyk

A store dedicated to selling canned Portuguese sardines will open soon at 2 Times Square, the Commercial Observer in New York reports. Comur Corp. (Murtosa, Portugal) has signed a lease in the tourism corridor to open the 1000-square-foot Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines.

The Sherwood Equities-owned property, expected to open Sept. 1, will be the brand’s first U.S. store, according to tenant broker Newmark. (The chain lists six existing stores on its website, all in its home country.)

Sherwood’s Fred Rosenberg said that the offering was admittedly a niche one but noted these are not just any sardines. Known on the Iberian Peninsula as Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa, the brand offers the “queen of all fish” in a variety of flavors, from smoked to spicy, many in cans dated as far back as 1927, according to its website.

The stores feature a circus-like environment, which the brand’s site explains thus:

“The queen of all fish and the prodigy of the Atlantic Ocean – the Portuguese sardine – a fish both noble and popular, has ascended the throne each June for many years, showing off its crown up and down the country. But at O Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa (the Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardine), the sovereign rules all year round. And what better tribute could be paid than through the fantasy of the wonderful world of the circus, also noble and popular, in parallel with the extraordinary popular nobility of sardines? For Comur, sardines are “The Greatest Show on Earth!”

While some might consider sardines a fish out of water in such a neighborhood, project backers say it will be an added draw.

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“Times Square is not just tourists,” Rosenberg told CO. “There’s a huge amount of office tenants there also. So I think that it will appeal to tourists and New Yorkers as well. It definitely is not your standard souvenir or ice cream shop.”

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